The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton 1965-2010
Winner of the 2013 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Poetry
"The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton 1965-2010 may be the most important book of poetry to appear in years."--Publishers Weekly
"All poetry readers will want to own this book; almost everything is in it."--Publishers Weekly
"If you only read one poetry book in 2012, The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton ought to be it."--NPR
"The 'Collected Clifton' is a gift, not just for her fans...but for all of us."--The Washington Post
"The love readers feel for Lucille Clifton--both the woman and her poetry--is constant and deeply felt. The lines that surface most frequently in praise of her work and her person are moving declarations of racial pride, courage, steadfastness."--Toni Morrison, from the Foreword
The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton 1965-2010 combines all eleven of Lucille Clifton's published collections with more than fifty previously unpublished poems. The unpublished poems feature early poems from 1965-1969, a collection-in-progress titled the book of days (2008), and a poignant selection of final poems. An insightful foreword by Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison and comprehensive afterword by noted poet Kevin Young frames Clifton's lifetime body of work, providing the definitive statement about this major America poet's career.
On February 13, 2010, the poetry world lost one of its most distinguished members with the passing of Lucille Clifton. In the last year of her life, she was named the first African American woman to receive the $100,000 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize honoring a US poet whose "lifetime accomplishments warrant extraordinary recognition," and was posthumously awarded the Robert Frost Medal for lifetime achievement from the Poetry Society of America.
"mother-tongue: to man-kind" (from the unpublished the book of days):
all that I am asking is
that you see me as something
more than a common occurrence,
more than a woman in her ordinary skin.
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About the Author
"From the earliest poems collected here, we see the familial merged seamlessly with the political, the general woven with the homespun...All poetry readers will want to own this book; almost everything is in it."--Publishers Weekly "If there is any doubt that Lucille Clifton (1963-2010) was one of the powerfully original poetic voices of our time, this volume should dispel it. Poem after poem, book after book, that varied but ever vigorous voice sang fearlessly and gracefully... Clifton's was a multifarious intelligence that could at times seem otherworldly; she inhabited and was attentive to both physical and spiritual plains; she spoke with the dead and the living with confidence. While her work could be contemporary and personal, she was often drawn to tell and retell ancient tales... She was an enlightened and enlightening poet, and this collection shines a welcome light on her work." --Open Books: A Poem Emporium A selection for Ms. Magazine's 2012 Best Books by Women, The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton 1965-2010 is a "welcome anthology, representative of more than 40 years of Clifton's writing. If you're not yet familiar with Clifton's incredible mix of the familial and the political, this is one book you need right now." --Ms. Magazine "What is so valuable is that she goes directly and not without anger and confusion into these life-and-death matters, allowing the reader to empathize, and share, in her recognition that survival is a triumph. What is even more valuable is that she recognizes that the reader too survives ... When Clifton writes such poems, she is among the very few true poets of our times."--The Nation