September 05, 2012
Collected Clifton is the Star of 'Library Journal' and 'Booklist' Reviews!
It was a good weekend for The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton 1965-2010! In the September 1 issues of both Library Journal and Booklist, the ‘Collected Clifton‘ received two rave reviews – one of them *starred.*
Ellen Kaufman’s *starred* Library Journal review of the landmark collection suggests that Ms. Clifton invokes through her poetry “‘lost people’” and “‘lost poems’ that have fallen off the map into the mouths of dragons,” and that the late poet “imagined for those who couldn’t or wouldn’t—the racist, the incestuous father, the victim, the tired, the poor, the overlooked, the dead, and her own buried self.” The review also notes that all the poems in the new collection are filled with the people from Ms. Clifton’s life: poems she wrote to, for, and about those that she knew, loved, and interacted with. Library Journal‘s VERDICT? “For all collections, although some readers might prefer to begin with Blessing the Boats: New and Collected Poems, 1988–2000.”
Donna Seaman’s rave Booklist review calls the collection “surprising and affirming.” She reports on the lure of more than 50 previously unpublished poems included in the volume and also makes special note of the insightful Foreword by Toni Morrison, which observes that “Clifton… is revered for her courage and candor in writing about womanhood, African American life, illness, and the elusiveness of justice while emphasizing her ‘intellect, imagination, scholarship… [and] risk-taking manipulation of language.’” What Seaman says next is just too good to paraphrase: “Indeed, Clifton’s deceptively spare poems work a complexly powerful spell as she draws us in and unleashes her barbed, saucy, tonic, and detonating responses to life’s beauty, cruelty, irony, and power. Poets and literary sleuths Michael S. Glaser and Kevin Young performed editorial magic, and Young’s intimate and clarifying closing essay is a treasure. A magnificent gathering of the work of a crucial poet of wit, genius, and heart.”