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Lucille Clifton

Lucille Clifton (1936-2010) was an American poet, writer, and educator. She was born in Depew, New York, and raised in Buffalo, New York. Her poetry collection Blessing the Boats: New & Selected Poems 1988-2000 (BOA Editions) won the National Book Award for Poetry. Her other collections include Good Woman: Poems and a Memoir (BOA, 1987), and Next: New Poems (BOA, 1987), both finalists for the Pulitzer Prize during the same year.

Ms. Clifton, who also published numerous books for children, received the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the Frost Medal, a Lannan Literary Award for Poetry, and an Emmy Award. In 2013, her posthumously published collection The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton 1965-2010 (BOA, 2012), was awarded the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Poetry. In 2020, BOA Editions published How to Carry Water: Selected Poems of Lucille Clifton, edited with a foreward by Aracelis Girmay.

Prizes, Awards & Fellowships
  • 1996 Lannan Literary Award for Poetry