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The Blue & Gray Press | May 22, 2018

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Poetry Professor Honored by Girl Scouts


Arrington Distinguished Chair of Poetry and Professor of English Claudia Emerson was named one of seven “Women of Distinction” of 2012 by the Girl Scouts of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Emerson’s award focused on her accomplishments in culture and communication. She was honored for her activities in teaching and writing, as well as her involvement in the community.

“I’ve judged poetry contests and book contests, and I’m very involved in the Library of Virginia,” said Emerson.

Emerson received the award during a ceremony on Wednesday, Sept. 26. The Girl Scouting Review Committee chose the “Women of Distinction” based on their ability to serve as examples of courage, confidence and character.

“It was a great honor to get the call, especially since I was once a girl scout,” Emerson said.

Award recipients are not required to have any past connections to the Girl Scouts, but Emerson showed her pride by wearing a Girl Scout pin and bringing her old sash, covered in patches, to the award ceremony.

Emerson won the 2006 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry for her collection “Late Wife.” She is teaching two creative writing courses in poetry this fall, after taking a year off for a sabbatical.

She recently finished her next book of poetry, “The Opposite House,” which contains third-person portraits and themes of loss and medical history, according to Emerson.

“The event itself was great,” said Emerson. “And it was great that [the award recipients] have all given back to the community.”