Clifton, Lucille, 1936-2010

Alternative names
Birth 1936-06-27
Death 2010-02-13

Biographical notes:

Lucille Clifton (1936- 2010), African American poet and children's book author. She was born Thelma Lucille Clifton on June 27, 1936 to Samuel L. Sayles, Sr. and Thelma Moore Sayles in Depew, New York. At the age of seven, the Sayles family moved to nearby Buffalo, New York. From 1953-1955, Lucille attended Howard University from 1953-1955 and Fredonia State Teachers College (now State University of New York College at Fredonia) in 1955. Clifton's first volume of poetry, GOOD TIMES, was published in 1969 and chosen by The New York Times as one of the ten best books of the year. Other volumes of poetry followed, including GOOD NEWS ABOUT THE EARTH (1972), and AN ORDINARY WOMAN (1974), NEXT: NEW POEMS (1987), and THE TERRIBLE STORIES (1996), which was nominated for a National Book Award. She has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for the years 1980, 1987, 1988, and 1991, and her BLESSING THE BOATS (2000) won the National Book Award for Poetry. In addition to poetry, Clifton has written many children's books, including eight volumes featuring the character of Everett Anderson. EVERETT ANDERSON'S GOODBYE won the Coretta Scott King Award from the American Library Association in 1984. In 2007, Clifton won the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize. Clifton died on February 13, 2010.

From the description of Lucille Clifton papers, circa 1930-2009. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 221707777

African American poet and author, of Baltimore, Md.

From the description of Oral history interview, 1976. (Maryland Historical Society). WorldCat record id: 32818944


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  • Children's literature, American--20th century
  • American poetry--African American authors--20th century
  • African American women authors
  • American literature--African American authors
  • African American women college teachers
  • Women poets, American--20th century
  • Women authors
  • Children's literature
  • African American women authors--Interviews
  • Parent and child
  • Spirit writings
  • African American poets--20th century
  • Race discrimination
  • Poetry
  • Authors and publishers
  • African American women poets--Interviews


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  • Maryland--Baltimore (as recorded)
  • Maryland (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Buffalo (N.Y.) (as recorded)