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Claudia Emerson and the Natural World

December 8, 2014

Though she received the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for a collection of deeply personal poems, one of Claudia Emerson’s finest gifts was for inhabiting the voices of others, creating essentially a Spoon River Anthology for rural Virginia.

General Jackson's "Chancellorsville" Portrait, taken at a Spotsylvania County farm on April 26, 1863, seven days before his mortal wounding at the Battle of Chancellorsville

Stonewall Jackson’s Arm

May 2, 2013

I was walking through a cornfield in search of a cemetery in the middle of Virginia. A fox trotted across the path in front of me and disappeared in the forest of stalks with barely a rustle. I was searching for Stonewall Jackson’s lost arm.

Ina Grove

—Lexington: After two hours of deliberation, a panel of magistrates today in the circuit court of Rockbridge turned in an indictment in the rape and murder case of Brodie Painter, the so-called Irish Creek Desperado. The crime, which raised a significant stir hereabouts, involved felonious assault on a fourteen-year-old girl named Ina Grove, and the prosecutor, Captain Stansfield, now has plans to petition Judge Armbruster for the gallows in light of both the harm done the girl and the savagery with which her uncle Leaf Pogue was stabbed to his death.

The Exchange

Between Wytheville, Virginia
and the North Carolina line,
he meets a wagon headed
where he's been, seated beside
her parents a dark-eyed girl

Interview With Oliver W. Hill

On February 5, 2003, Oliver W. Hill was honored as Virginian of the Year. At the ceremony Hill (in wheelchair) received a standing ovation from Lt. Gov. Tim Kaine (second from right) and members of the State Senate at the capitol in Richmond. (By Ste [...]