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Slate Book Review on 'Collected Clifton'

"Lucille Clifton is the rare poet good enough to survive the Collected Poems treatment." According to Slate reviewer Jonathan Farmer, celebrating poets through Collected Poems can sometimes be an "awkward gesture," but we do it because we love those particular poets and their "human fullness." "Of course," writes Farmer,  "some humans seem more full than others, even in their poems, and Lucille Clifton was about as overflowing as they come." While the 'Collected Clifton' is the biggest book BOA has ever published, in every sense of the word, the Slate review notes the many "unique pleasures in encountering her over so many years and poems, pleasures that help to explain her place among our most beloved poets." With beautiful and moving thoughts toward Lucille Clifton and the power of her poetry, Farmer writes: "Beyond her great skill and determination and restless intelligence, Clifton was a poet who actually believed poetry could save us, and in her hands, the idea doesn’t seem that far-fetched. She seems to have spent a lifetime writing in the confidence that someone was waiting on the other side of her words—someone who needed to hear them, much as she needed them herself. Sitting in the presence of those words now, what I feel is not so much salvation as the power of trying to save. Clifton makes the greatest possible case for an art rooted in kindness and full of imagination. Let that example never go away." Read the Slate Book Review here. Experience Lucille Clifton's poetry here. Author Lucille Clifton. Image courtesy of
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