Lucille Clifton was an American poet, writer, and educator from New York. Common topics in her poetry include the celebration of her African American heritage, and feminist themes, with particular emphasis on the female body.
She was the first person in her family to finish high school and attend college. She started Howard University on scholarship as a drama major but lost the scholarship two years later.
Thus began her writing career.
"Good Times", her first book of poems, was published in 1969. She has since been nominated twice for the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and has been honored as Maryland's Poet Laureate.
Ms. Clifton's foray into writing for children began with "Some of the Days of Everett Anderson", published in 1970.
In 1976, "Generations: A Memoir" was published. In 2000, she won the National Book Award for Poetry, for her work "Poems Seven".
From 1985 to 1989, Clifton was a professor of literature and creative writing at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She was Distinguished Professor of Humanities at St. Mary's College of Maryland. From 1995 to 1999, she was a visiting professor at Columbia University. In 2006, she was a fellow at Dartmouth College.
Clifton received the Robert Frost Medal for lifetime achievement posthumously, from the Poetry Society of America.