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Pulitzer Prize Winner to Give Reading at OCU

Claudia Emerson, a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, will give a reading at Oklahoma City University at 8 p.m. April 4 as part of the 14th annual Thatcher Hoffman Smith Poetry Series. Emerson will also lead a conversation called “Connecting Through Poetry” at 10 a.m.

Both events are free to the public and will be held in the Kerr McGee Auditorium in Meinders School of Business at N.W. 27th Street and Blackwelder Avenue. The event is made possible in part by a grant from the Oklahoma Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Emerson won the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry in 2006 for her book, “Late Wife: Poems.” It tells the story of a woman who explores her disappearance from one life and reappearance in another as she addresses her former husband, herself and her new husband through a series of poems.

Emerson is professor of English and the Arrington Distinguished Chair in Poetry at the University of Mary Washington in Virginia. She is a contributing editor of the Shenandoah literary magazine.

Her latest book is titled “Figure Studies: Poems.” She also wrote the poetry collections “Pharaoh, Pharaoh” and “Pinion: An Elegy.”

Immediately before Emerson’s reading at OCU, there will be an open-mic poetry reading starting at 6:15 p.m. in the auditorium.

Emerson will sign books after each reading, and books will be available for purchase. For more information visit or contact Harbour Winn at (405) 208-5472 or

The event is co-sponsored by Oklahoma Arts Institute, Oklahoma Council of Teachers of English, Full Circle Book Store, Petree College of Arts & Sciences and the Center for Interpersonal Studies through Film and Literature.

Previous poets in the series have included Robert Pinsky, Jane Hirshfield, Michael Ondaatje, Mark Doty, Naomi Shihab Nye, Li-Young Lee, Billy Collins, Ted Kooser, Joy Harjo, Jimmy Santiago Baca, Charles Simic, Natasha Trethewey and Carolyn Forché.