In Memory of a Poet

It’s a sad day. I got the news earlier today that one of the very best people I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with has died. I knew Claudia Emerson as a brilliant teacher both inside and outside the classroom. Her work on the hybrid course Poetic Sequence, the literary journals course and the ethershop blog were three of the very best examples of integrating technology with teaching at UMW during the rise of UMW Blogs.

One of the things that regularly struck me about Claudia is how freely she would discuss what she was writing at the time. I remember being in front of my house with one of my then anarchic toddlers listening to her describe the poem she was writing about Hogzilla. I thought that was so cool—how many poets are both so patient and down-to-earth with their genius. Today we lost a great poet, and an even greater person.

I was struck when I saw a fellow colleague share the following DTLT Today video of Claudia talking about her work on the preservation of the dead, suggesting what she called a “poetics of preservation.” Watching it was a good reminder of just how willing she was to share her brilliance as she tried to shed light on some of our darkest places. Let it shine on.

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One Response to In Memory of a Poet

  1. I remember an occasion hanging out with you and the kids where she was describing the story of Hogzilla (maybe it was the same time you are remembering). Who else could write a poem about such a thing?
    I’ll always remember how when she would walk by your place (usually after she had been out for a run if I recall) and see me herding your kids (back when there was only two crazy Bava children) she would stop and say hi to all of us. She was just a genuinely warm and open human being and she will be missed.

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