Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton 1965-2010

Lucille Clifton (Author), Kevin Young (Afterword), Michael S. Glaser (Editor), and Toni Morrison (Foreword)


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Edited by Kevin Young and Michael S. Glaser

Foreword by Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison

Afterword by Kevin Young

Winner of the 2013 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Poetry

The culmination of a 40-year career by one of America’s most revered poets, The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton 1965-2010 combines all of Lucille Clifton’s published collections with 69 previously unpublished poems. The unpublished pieces feature early poems from 1965-1969, a collection-in-progress entitled Book of Days, and a poignant selection of final poems. An insightful Foreword by Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison, and a comprehensive Afterword by noted poet Kevin Young, frame Clifton’s lifetime body of work, providing a definitive statement about this major American poet’s career. This landmark volume is a must-have for all of Clifton’s fans—past, present, and future.

From the Editors: This volume represents all the poems Lucille Clifton published in book form during her lifetime. It also includes groupings of previously uncollected poems placed in the book roughly when they were written: first, a small selection of “Early Poems” from the many Clifton wrote and kept but did not gather in her first full-length book, Good Times (1969); second, we have included a recently discovered typescript, Book of Days, that Clifton seems to have completed during 2006; and, finally, a grouping of “Last Poems & Drafts” that include late work and fragments, in various states of completion, found among her papers housed at Emory University. In all cases we have maintained the unique typography (and handwriting) found in her uncollected work.


today we are possible.

The morning, green and laundry-sweet,

opens itself and we enter

blind and mewling.

everything waits for us:

the snow kingdom

sparkling and silent

in its glacial cap,

the cane fields

shining and sweet

in the sun-drenched south.

as the day arrives

with all its clumsy blessings

what we will become

ISBN 9781934414903
List price $40.00
Publisher Boa Editions
Year of publication 2012