Lucille Clifton: Her Life and Letters

Overview

Writing and composing with honesty and humanism, Lucille Clifton is known for her themes of the body, family, community, politics, womanhood, and the spirit. While much of her work deals with the African American experience, she does not limit herself to that perspective, addressing topics common to all women, to all people. This timely and important biography will give readers a glimpse into the life and work of this important and revered African American poet, writer, and educator, exploring themes that run ...

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Overview

Writing and composing with honesty and humanism, Lucille Clifton is known for her themes of the body, family, community, politics, womanhood, and the spirit. While much of her work deals with the African American experience, she does not limit herself to that perspective, addressing topics common to all women, to all people. This timely and important biography will give readers a glimpse into the life and work of this important and revered African American poet, writer, and educator, exploring themes that run throughout her writing, as well as the personal obstacles she faced and overcame.

Lucille Clifton was born in Depew, New York, in 1936. Today, she is one of the most important and revered African American poets, writers, and educators in the nation. In addition to several works of poetry, she has written more than 15 children's books. Her work has been nominated for three Pulitzer Prizes and two National Book Awards, one of which she won for Blessing the Boats: New and Selected Poems 1988-2000 in 2000. In 1999, she was appointed and remains a Chancellor of the American Academy of Poets, one of the most prestigious honors in American letters. Among her best known works is the poem miss rosie, anthologized many times over and a standard part of high school curriculums. She has won an Emmy award, a Lannan Literary Award, two fellowships from the National Endowmant for the the Arts, and many other prestigious awards. Writing and composing with honesty and humanism, Clifton is known for her themes of the body, family, community, politics, womanhood, and the spirit. While much of her work deals with the African American experience, she does not limit herself to that perspective, addressing topics common to all women, to all people. This biography covers Clifton's life and work, addressing themes that run throughout her writing as well as the personal obstacles she faced and overcame, including her own faultering health. This timely and important biography will give readers a glimpse into the life of one of America's most important, influential, and enduring writers.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"A major figure in contemporary American poetry, Lucille Clifton is the author of 11 books of poetry, one prose memoir, and 19 children's books. This biography covers both the personal and professional life of this renowned African American writer and educator. An extensive bibliography directs readers to reviews, interviews, and other sources of information about Clifton."

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Reference & Research Book News

"This first biography of the remarkable, award-winning American poet Lucille Clifton (b. 1936) provides a comprehensive, compassionate account of an extraordinary life of letters and an analysis of Clifton's impressive work. Lupton did extensive research and conducted numerous interviews, and she reveals how Clifton's memories of cross-culturization, childhood in poverty, and the death of her husband at age 49 bring insights into her poems. Lupton discusses the roles of race, gender, and memory in the creation and themes of Clifton's poems, and she includes a description of Clifton's signature poetic structure--short, free-verse stanzas with sparsely punctuated lines of two to four beats each. The final chapter, Her Lasting Gift, summarizes Clifton's philosophies: write truth, write with both intellect and intuition, and write to celebrate, not to be celebrated. Those interested in literature, American history, African American history, and/or women's studies will treasure this study. Essential. All readers; all levels."

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Choice

"[F]or high school, college/university students, and general readers….Lucille Clifton: Life and Letters covers the life and work of the chancellor of the American Academy of Poets, her nominations for three Pulitzer Prizes, and her two National Book Awards."

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Multicultural Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780275984694
  • Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/30/2006
  • Series: Women Writers of Color Series
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

MARY JANE LUPTON is Professor Emeritus at Morgan State University. She is the author of numerous essays in the areas of feminism, Indian Studies, and Black Studies. She is the author of two Greenwood Critical Companions: Maya Angelou (1998) and James Welch (2004). Her book Menstruation and Psychoanalysis was published in 1993.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2007

    A reviewer

    I am the author of LUCILLE CLIFTON: HER LIFE AND LETTERS (Praeger 2006). I was thrilled to learn that on May 7 Clifton was announced as the recipient of the 2007 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, a prestigious award with a stipend of $100,000. All Clifton scholars should be overjoyed that Lucille is getting the acclaim she deserves.

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