Claudia Emerson, 57, a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, died Thursday after a long battle with cancer, the university said.
Ms. Emerson, a native of Chatham, Va., won the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for her book Late Wife, a collection of handwritten letters reflecting on her failed marriage of 19 years and her blossoming relationship with her second husband, Kent Ippolito. For three years, Ms. Emerson took the letters - never mailed - and taped them to the walls of her home and office.
In an AP interview after she won the prize, Ms. Emerson said the letters to her ex-husband were not those of a vengeful ex-wife. "I don't think they'd be very good if they had been sharply written," she said. "I think it is sad when a marriage dissolves, even if it wasn't the happiest one."