I want to alert readers to the passing this week of poet Lucille Clifton. I don’t get a chance to read much poetry these days, but as soon as I have the time I will be revisiting Blessing the Boats: New and Selected Poems and Quilting Poems, my favorite Clifton collections. Lucille Clifton was born in New York, but spent a great deal of time in Baltimore, Maryland, my hometown. I think of her as a Maryland poet; indeed, she was poet laureate of Maryland for several years. I highly recommend seeking out one of her collections.
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Another New Havener, Elizabeth Alexander, had these reflections about Lucille Clifton’s passing in the New Yorker:
“I do not think there is an American poet as beloved as Clifton, or one whose influence radiated as widely.”