“Writing is a way of continuing to hope,” Lucille Clifton says. “Perhaps for me it is a way of remembering I am not alone.”
Famed African American writer Lucille Clifton was born in Depew, New York, in 1936, and has become one of the preeminent writers of her generation. She is an award-winning writer in nearly every genre: poetry, fiction, memoir, and children’s books. Her work is precise, spare, and evocative, focusing on family, race, and the experience of women. Her many 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, and the 2007 Ruth Lilly Prize. In 1999, she was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. She has served as Poet Laureate for the State of Maryland and is currently Distinguished Professor of Humanities at St. Mary’s College of Maryland.