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New York Times Obituary for Lucille Clifton

[caption id="attachment_515" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Lucille Clifton accepting the 2000 National Book Award (AP Photo)"]Lucille Clifton accepting the 2000 National Book Award (AP Photo)[/caption] Lucille Clifton, Poet Who Explored Intricacies of Black Lives, Dies at 73
Lucille Clifton, a distinguished American poet whose work trained lenses wide and narrow on the experience of being black and female in the 20th century, exploring vast subjects like the indignities of history and intimate ones like the indignities of the body, died on Saturday in Baltimore. She was 73 and lived in Columbia, Md. The precise cause of death had not been determined, her sister, Elaine Philip, told The Associated Press on Sunday. Ms. Clifton, who had cancer, had been hospitalized recently with an infection. Ms. Clifton received a National Book Award in 2000 for “Blessing the Boats: New and Selected Poems, 1988-2000,” published by BOA Editions. In 2007, she became the first African-American woman to win the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, a $100,000 award that is one of American poetry’s signal honors. [Read the rest of the article here]

1 comment

  • Dear Family,
    I write to share my sadness upon learning of the passing of Lucille Clifton. Her presence in MI—appearing at Alma College on both occasions I was able to be with her-and comments touched me with her wisdom and helped to expand my own world view. I shall forever treasure the line, “chocolate feet and vanilla toes” from Everett Anderson’s Year.

    And, a recent purchase of a children’s book dealing with loss—which I had originally purchased to share with my granddaughters—now has profoundly informed my own grief as I work to accept the death of my “Irish twin” brother, Rohn, due to colon cancer on February 17th, 2010, just 3 days following the death of Ms Clifton…

    Lucille’s legacy in her work will inspire many in the years to come, but I feel blessed to have shared a little time in the audience while she graced the stage in this life…
    With sympathy,
    John Peterson II

    John Peterson on

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