Lucille Clifton was born in 1936 in DePaw, New York. She published her first book of poetry, Good Times (Random House, 1969), and soon received recognition from Langston Hughes, who would subsequently publish her work in his anthology, The Poetry of the Negro, 1746-1970 (Doubleday, 1970). She went on to publish several poetry collections and win, among numerous awards, an Emmy and the 2007 Ruth Lily Prize. In 1999, she was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. She passed away in 2010.
Lucille Clifton, excerpt from “breaklight” from The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton 1965-2010. Copyright © 1974, 1987 by Lucille Clifton. Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of BOA Editions, Ltd., www.boaeditions.org.
The Poetry Path is made possible through a partnership with Battery Park City Authority, partners in design and fabrication of the Poetry Path, with additional support from our Outreach Partner, Goldman Sachs. Special thanks to the Arthur F. and Alice E. Adams Foundation for funding the Poetry Path planning process, and to the Marcia Brady Tucker Foundation for supporting Poetry Path educational initiatives for youth and children.