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'The labor of love': PW talks with co-editors of the Collected Clifton

“America made us heroines/not wives” Clifton Collected Poems An exclusive Publishers Weekly interview with Kevin Young and Michael S. Glaser, co-editors of The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton 1965-2010, was in the PW spotlight of Monday's issue. While Kevin Young discusses Lucille Clifton’s mentoring and literary influence, Michael Glaser talks about their enduring friendship. Ultimately, the co-editors and friends of Ms. Clifton tell about "the labor of love that this book represents." This new interview offers insight into the landmark volume The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton 1965-2010 (BOA, 2012), spirit writing, the “lost poems” of Clifton, and the late poet’s literary legacy. The book, containing all of Lucille Clifton's published collections along with more than sixty previously unpublished poems, is a way to help the world discover many of Ms. Clifton's "lost poems," as Young and Glaser made many discoveries of her uncollected poetry on the book's journey to publication. Of Clifton's literary legacy, Young and Glaser say: Young: "Clifton’s influence is profound, not just in terms of style but topic—and music. After her, writers I think feel able to write about all subjects, even taboo ones, not just with intimacy and bravery, but also to make metaphor from them. Clifton was always finding metaphor and meaning—from being born with 12 fingers to the fox poet who visits her after illness—both from her life and from her language." Glaser: "I think this book will show that Lucille is one of the major and most courageous voices of the 20th century. She often felt that she let down various 'groups' of which she was a part—that she wasn’t black enough for African-Americans, feminist enough for women, a survivor of abuse or cancer or you name it—enough for those groups. But she saw and explored the humanness of all of us—one who acknowledged boundaries but was always seeking ways to remove them, to cross borders, to articulate her belief that, indeed, 'all of us are all of us.'" Read the full interview here. In other wonderful news this week, Poets & Writers has also highlighted The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton 1965-2010 in its September/October feature "Page One: Where New and Noteworthy Books Begin!” Get your copy of The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton at the BOA Bookstore.


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