Lucille Clifton

1936–2010
Lucille Clifton

Lucille Clifton was born in Depew, New York, and educated at Howard University, where she met fellow writers Sterling Brown, A.B. Spellman, and Toni Morrison. Clifton’s free verse lyrics — spare in form — often concern the importance of family and community in the face of economic oppression. Though rooted in folktales and a strong tradition of storytelling, many of Clifton’s poems are spirited, sometimes spiritual, explorations of race and gender.

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"Poetry Out Loud helped me gain confidence in myself. I'm usually quite shy, but memorizing and performing poems and meeting new people along the way has given me confidence that I will always carry with me."
Raina Verser
2017 AL POL Champion