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Life According to Lucille Clifton

Lucille Clifton (1926-2010) was a prolific poet, author of children’s literature, and educator. Born in Depew, New York, on June 27, 1936, Clifton was raised with a deep appreciation for the African and African-American arts. She published her first volume of poems, Good Times, in 1969 to critical acclaim. Her poems have been described as celebrations of African-American heritage and black womanhood, emphasizing endurance and strength through hardship and societal oppression. In addition to two Creative Writing Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and numerous other prestigious awards, several of Clifton's books were nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, including Good Woman: Poems and a Memoir, 1969-1980, Next: New Poems, and Two-Headed Woman.  Clifton served as the state of Maryland's poet laureate from 1974 until 1985, and won the National Book Award for Blessing the Boats: New and Selected Poems, 1988-2000. Clifton was also an acclaimed children’s novelist, known in particular for her Everett Anderson series, as well as a Distinguished Professor of Humanities at St. Mary's College of Maryland and Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. 

quote by Lucille Clifton

"Poetry is a matter of life, not just a matter of language." — Lucille Clifton

quote by Lucille Clifton

"They ask me to remember but they want me to remember their memories and I keep on remembering mine." — Lucille Clifton

quote by Lucille Clifton

"You might as well answer the door, my child, the truth is furiously knocking." — Lucille Clifton

quote by Lucille Clifton

"I think most artists create art in order to explore, not give the answers. Poetry and art are not about answers to me; they are about questions." — Lucille Clifton

quote by Lucille Clifton

"I come to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable." — Lucille Clifton

quote by Lucille Clifton

" What they call you is one thing. What you answer to is something else." — Lucille Clifton

quote by Lucille Clifton

"listen,/ you a wonder./ you a city of a woman./ you got a geography/ of your own." — Lucille Clifton

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