Late Wife - Cover
Goodreads Icon

Late Wife

Poems

Southern Messenger Poets

64 pages / 5.50 x 9.00 inches / None

ebook available

Poetry

  Hardcover / 9780807130834 / September 2005
  Paperback / 9780807130841 / September 2005

Winner of the The Pulitzer Prize for Poetry

In Late Wife, a woman explores her disappearance from one life and reappearance in another as she addresses her former husband, herself, and her new husband in a series of epistolary poems. Though not satisfied in her first marriage, she laments vanishing from the life she and her husband shared for years. She then describes the unexpected joys of solitude during her recovery and emotional convalescence. Finally, in a sequence of sonnets, she speaks to her new husband, whose first wife died from lung cancer. The poems highlight how the speaker's rebeginning in this relationship has come about in part because of two couples' respective losses.

The most personal of Claudia Emerson's poetry collections, Late Wife is both an elegy and a celebration of a rich present informed by a complex past.

CLAUDIA EMERSON published five poetry collections with LSU Press, including Late Wife, Figure Studies, and Secure the Shadow. A professor of English and member of the creative writing faculty at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Emerson served as the poet laureate of Virginia and won numerous awards for teaching and writing, including the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, before her death in 2014.

Found an Error? Tell us about it.