Come Celebrate With Me: The Work of Lucille Clifton is an exhibition currently on display in the MARBL gallery on the 10th Floor of the Robert W. Woodruff Library curated by Kevin Young, curator of Literary Collections and the Raymond Danowski Poetry Library at MARBL and Amy Hildreth Chen, Emory PhD student in English.
A second exhibit on Lucille Clifton's work specifically as a children's author, She Sang So Sweet: Lucille Clifton's Children's Literature, curated by Amy Hildreth Chen, is now open on the 2nd floor of the Robert W. Woodruff Library.
In August, 2012, Kevin Young and Michael S. Glaser's co-edited Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton 1965-2010 was released for BOA Editions.
Lucille Clifton (1936-2010), African American poet and children's book author. She was born Thelma Lucille Sayles on June 27, 1936 to Samuel L. Sayles, Sr. and Thelma Moore Sayles in Depew, New York. At the age of seven, the Sayles family moved to nearby Buffalo, New York. From 1953-1955, Lucille attended Howard University and Fredonia State Teachers College (now State University of New York College at Fredonia) in 1955. Lucille Sayles married Fred Clifton (1934-1984) on May 10, 1958, and had six children.
Clifton's first volume of poetry, Good Times, was published in 1969 and chosen by The New York Times as one of the ten best books of the year. Other volumes of poetry followed, including Good News About the Earth (1972), and An Ordinary Woman (1974), Next: New Poems (1987), and The Terrible Stories (1996), which was nominated for a National Book Award. She has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for the years 1980, 1987, 1988, and 1991, and her Blessing the Boats (2000) won the National Book Award for Poetry.
In addition to poetry, Clifton has written many children's books, including eight volumes featuring the character of Everett Anderson. Everett Anderson's Goodbye won the Coretta Scott King Award from the American Library Association in 1984.
Throughout her career as a poet and children's book author, Clifton has also taught poetry and creative writing at several institutions, including Coppin State College in Baltimore, Maryland (1972-1976), University of California, Santa Cruz (1985-1989), and St. Mary's College of Maryland (1989-2006). In 2007, Clifton won the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize. Clifton died on February 13, 2010.
The collection at MARBL contains the literary and personal papers of Lucille Clifton from circa 1930-2009. The materials document Clifton's work as a poet, children's book author, and teacher, her participation in literary organizations, and the development of her personal and professional relationships. The papers include correspondence, writings by Clifton, writings by others, teaching and workshop files, subject files, personal papers, printed material, photographs, audiovisual material, and digital files. The collection also includes the papers of Fred Clifton, Clifton's husband.
For more information on the Lucille Clifton Collection at MARBL, please visit the EmoryFindingAids Database.