Monday, April 17, 2006


Dana Priest, who was awarded Best of the Blogs first Krugie Award for excellence in journalism, today won the really big prize for excellence in journalism, a Pulitzer for her reporting on the CIA prisons in eastern Europe and other aspects of the Bush's war on terror.

When I met her to give her the Krugie she was charming and genuine and smart and funny and seemed genuinely touched to be chosen for our tiny prize, and when you consider how tough she has to be to be reporting on this administration in this town for a paper with a clown for head of editorials and a bigger clown as ombudsman and a minor wanker growing daily in dangerous wankerness as the head of the board, tough is perhaps the attribute that Priest deserves most credit for amongst all her other attributes.

The fiction Pulitzer was given to Geraldine Brooks, who I have heard good things about but have not read. The one who agrees to be married to me read 2002's Year of Wonders about a plague in 17th C Britain and loved it, but it fell off my radar before I could read it. March, this year's Pulitzer winner, is a Civil War novel with the missing father from Little Women as main character, is set, partially, at Balls Bluff, on the other side of the Potomac and down a mile from White's Ferry, a playground of my (continuing) youth. I confess, the Little Women angle turned me off. Small me.

The poetry winner I've never heard of, Claudia Emerson, for her collection Late Wife, from which this poem is taken:


For three years you lived in your house
just as it was before she died: your wedding
portrait on the mantel, her clothes hanging
in the closet, her hair still in the brush.
You have told me you gave it all away
then, sold the house, keeping only the confirmation
cross she wore, her name in cursive chased
on the gold underside, your ring in the same

box, those photographs you still avoid,
and the quilt you spread on your borrowed bed—
small things. Months after we met, you told me she had
made it, after we had slept already beneath its loft
and thinning, raveled pattern, as though beneath
her shadow, moving with us, that dark, that soft.


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