BCBA Author Spotlight: Lucille Clifton

Poet Elizabeth Alexander said that Lucille Clifton “wrote physically small poems with enormous and profound inner worlds.” Clifton, an author and poet who is highly admired in both the adult and children’s book industries, wrote mostly about the Black American experience. She was reared in a literature rich household, even though her parents weren’t formally educated. So from an early age, she was familiar with Black authors who wrote about history, heritage, and culture. Clifton entered Howard University at the age of sixteen. There she met Toni Morrison, who became a friend and later her editor while she (Morrison) was at Random House.

In 1969 her first book of poetry, Good Times, was praised and declared by the New York Times as one of the ten best books of the year. The Black BC’s and Some of the Days of Everett Anderson were Clifton’s first children’s books, both published in 1970. Everett Anderson became a book series, with Everett Anderson’s Goodbye winning several awards, including the Coretta Scott King Author Award. Clifton made history as the first poet to have two collections of poetry named as finalists for the 1988 Pulitzer Prize: Good Woman: Poems and a Memoir and Next: New Poems. Listed below are Clifton’s children’s books. To discover more about Lucille Clifton’s life and other works of poetry, see Sources/Additional Reading below.

I don't go get a poem. It calls me and I accept it.

Lucille Clifton

Image Credit: hurstonwright.org
Sources/Additional Reading: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

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