February 13, 2010

Lucille Clifton Dies at 73

Lucille Clifton
June 27, 1936-February 13, 2010

Lucille Clifton, who achieved some of the literary world's highest honors as a major American poet, died today at Johns Hopkins University Hospital in Baltimore at age 73.
Clifton had been ill for some time with an undiagnosed infection and had undergone surgery to remove her colon yesterday.

Clifton lived in Columbia, Md., and was the former poet laureate of the state.

Blessing the Boats: New and Selected Poems 1988-2000 (American Poets Continuum)She was a two-time Pulitzer Prize nominee and won the National Book Award in 2001 for Blessing the Boats: New and Selected Poems 1988-2000," and in 2007, she became the first African-American woman to be awarded one of the literary world's highest honors — the Ruth Lilly Prize for lifetime achievement by the Poetry Foundation.

Clifton was a longtime featured poet at the biennial Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festivals in New Jersey where I heard her read many times. Two videos of her reading there are posted below.

Good Woman: Poems and a Memoir 1969-1980
The Book of Light
Next: New Poems
Quilting: Poems 1987-1990

Lucille Clifton reads "What Haunts Him" and "Sorrows" at the 2008 Dodge Poetry Festival.

Lucille reads "aunt jemima" and "afterblues" (2006)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the viewing of such a wonderful vocal vision. Lucille Clifton, may you rest in eternal peace.