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The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton 1965-2010 (American Poets Continuum) Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Series: American Poets Continuum (Book 134)
  • Hardcover: 720 pages
  • Publisher: BOA Editions Ltd.; First Edition edition (August 28, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934414905
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934414903
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.5 x 2.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #206,052 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review


“From the earliest poems collected here, we see the familial merged seamlessly with the political, the general woven with the homespun…All poetry readers will want to own this book; almost everything is in it.”—Publishers Weekly

“If there is any doubt that Lucille Clifton (1963-2010) was one of the powerfully original poetic voices of our time, this volume should dispel it. Poem after poem, book after book, that varied but ever vigorous voice sang fearlessly and gracefully… Clifton’s was a multifarious intelligence that could at times seem otherworldly; she inhabited and was attentive to both physical and spiritual plains; she spoke with the dead and the living with confidence. While her work could be contemporary and personal, she was often drawn to tell and retell ancient tales… She was an enlightened and enlightening poet, and this collection shines a welcome light on her work.” —Open Books: A Poem Emporium

A selection for Ms. Magazine's 2012 Best Books by Women, The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton 1965-2010 is a "welcome anthology, representative of more than 40 years of Clifton’s writing. If you’re not yet familiar with Clifton’s incredible mix of the familial and the political, this is one book you need right now.” —Ms. Magazine

"What is so valuable is that she goes directly and not without anger and confusion into these life-and-death matters, allowing the reader to empathize, and share, in her recognition that survival is a triumph. What is even more valuable is that she recognizes that the reader too survives … When Clifton writes such poems, she is among the very few true poets of our times.”—The Nation

About the Author

Lucille Clifton: Lucille Clifton was born in Depew, New York, on June 27, 1936. Her first book of poems, Good Times, was rated one of the best books of the year by the New York Times in 1969.

Clifton remained employed in state and federal government positions until 1971, when she became a writer in residence at Coppin State College in Baltimore, Maryland, where she completed two collections: Good News About the Earth (1972) and An Ordinary Woman (1974).

She went on to write several other collections of poetry, including Voices (BOA Editions, 2008); Mercy (2004); Blessing the Boats: New and Selected Poems 1988-2000 (2000), which won the National Book Award; The Terrible Stories (1995), which was nominated for the National Book Award; The Book of Light (1993); Quilting: Poems 1987-1990 (1991); Next: New Poems (1987)

Her collection Good Woman: Poems and a Memoir 1969-1980 (1987) was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize; Two-Headed Woman (1980), also a Pulitzer Prize nominee, was the recipient of the University of Massachusetts Press Juniper Prize. She has also written Generations: A Memoir (1976) and more than sixteen books for children, written expressly for an African-American audience.

Lucille Clifton's honors include an Emmy Award from the American Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, a Lannan Literary Award, two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Shelley Memorial Award, the YM-YWHA Poetry Center Discovery Award, and the 2007 Ruth Lilly Prize.

In 1999, she was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. She served as Poet Laureate for the State of Maryland and Distinguished Professor of Humanities at St. Mary's College of Maryland.

After a long battle with cancer, Lucille Clifton died on February 13, 2010, at the age of 73.


Toni Morrison: Toni Morrison is a Nobel Prize and Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist, editor, and professor. Among her best known novels are The Bluest Eye, Song of Solomon and Beloved.

Kevin Young: Kevin Young is the author of seven books of poetry, most recently Ardency: A Chronicle of the Amistad Rebellion, out from Knopf in January 2011. His Jelly Roll: A Blues, was a finalist for the National Book Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and winner of the Paterson Poetry Prize. He is the editor of five volumes, including 2010's The Art of Losing: Poems of Grief and Healing; his book The Grey Album: Music, Shadows, Lies won the 2010 Graywolf Nonfiction Prize and is forthcoming in 2012. He is the Atticus Haygood Professor of Creative Writing and English and Curator of Literary Collections and the Raymond Danowski Poetry Library at Emory University in Atlanta.

Michael S. Glaser: Michael Glaser served as Poet Laureate of Maryland, from August 2004 through August 2009. He graduated from Denison University with a B.A. and from Kent State University with a M.A. and Ph.D. He began teaching at St. Mary's College of Maryland in 1970, retired and became a Professor Emeritus in 2008. He has published six collections of poetry and edited two anthologies. Dr. Glaser was Lucille Clifton's longtime friend and assistant.

More About the Author

Lucille Clifton was one of the most distinguished, decorated and beloved poets of her time. She won the National Book Award for Poetry for "Blessing the Boats: New and Selected Poems 1988-2000" and was the first African American female recipient of the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize for lifetime achievement from the Poetry Foundation. Ms. Clifton received many additional honors throughout her career, including the Discovery Award from the New York YW/YMHA Poetry Center in 1969 for her first collection "Good Times," a 1976 Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for the television special "Free to Be You and Me," a Lannan Literary Award in 1994, and the Robert Frost Medal from the Poetry Society of America in 2010. Her honors and awards give testa­ment to the universality of her unique and resonant voice. She was named a Literary Lion by the New York Public Library in 1996, served as a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets from 1999 to 2005, and was elected a Fellow in Literature of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 1987, she became the first author to have two books of poetry - "Good Woman" and "Next" - chosen as finalists for the Pulitzer Prize in the same year. She was also the author of eighteen children's books, and in 1984 received the Coretta Scott King Award from the American Library Association for her book "Everett Anderson's Good-bye."

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 12 customer reviews
She's one of America's best poets.
Nancy Whitt
I have given copies to friends--and got one signed by Clifton's gorgeous daughter Lexie at the Baltimore Book Festival.
Clarinda Harriss
An amazing collection of Poetry from one of the true masters.
Tonie

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Jessica Weissman on August 19, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This marvelous volume collects all of Lucille Clifton's published books, and adds a generous helping of uncollected and previously unpublished ones. I've just spent a few days reading through all of them, being reminded of old friends and anthology pieces and discovering new favorites.

Clifton's poems are accessible, compact, insightful, and meet any reasonable set of criteria for great and satisfying poetry. Sure, there is a section of those ouija board poems, but you can either pass over them or skim them. It's interesting that Clifton's ouija board had a poetic voice and set of concerns not unlike her own.

The only things you need to add to complete your Clifton collection are the prose autobiography in A Good Woman and a selection of her children's books (if you like that form at all).

Don't hesitate. Just buy the book and be comforted, challenged, sung to, filled with new insights, and delighted.

We will not see her like again.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Clarinda Harriss on October 11, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is a treasure. I have given copies to friends--and got one signed by Clifton's gorgeous daughter Lexie at the Baltimore Book Festival. That one is now beside my bed (though its poems, especially the ones from THE TERRIBLE STORIES, keep me awake. I gave one to a composer/performer I know who will doubtless get an opera or two out of its "lyrics." As one fortunte enought to have known Clifton, whom I shall now call Lucille, I am grateful not only for her amazing poems, and her generosity in giving readings, gratis, for good causes, but also for some fuuny, bizarre anecdotes she told me, several of which have morphed into poems and stories of my own.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Himri VINE VOICE on April 5, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I knew of a couple of famous poems by Lucille Clifton but never felt pushed to explore her work further. Looking at this collection, I gave up even before trying by the enormity of the book. But after being lured into other collections, I have realised how an authors whole body of work speaks in a definite voice. With most poets, we need guides. Not with Lucille Clifton, atleast to enjoy it in first reading. Direct to reader poetry.
The verse is so light (all simple worlds) that its hard to believe that one can write on weighty issues and still write on/from dreams, poetry for relatives and a letter and followups to Superman - not in the tone of 'Rescue me'. She taunts the forces be to topple her like those dolls that will never touch face with ground.
Repetition used to good effect of gaining familiarty and belongingness.

A title begins with ellipsis leading to God.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Tonie on October 22, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An amazing collection of Poetry from one of the true masters.
What Clifton does with words speaks to the heart.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Freddy on March 3, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was introduced to Lucille Clifton's poetry by the marvelous teacher (and poet) Elizabeth Alexander, who lectured on Clifton at Poets House in Battery Park City. Alexander talked about Clifton's deceptive simplicity and her life, in which she suffered illness and many losses (her mother, at an early age, her husband, two of her six children), but which left her unbowed. I wanted to know more, and bought this book. Here's a poem that Clifton called, "Haiku." "over the mountains/and under the stars it is/one hell of a ride." Think about the meaning of "hell" and the meaning of "one hell of a ride." That's what Alexander was talking about
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nancy Whitt on November 4, 2013
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She's brilliant. Her poetry is witty and wise. She's one of America's best poets. She's accessible, personal, humane and very talented with words, sounds and rhythms.
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