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Lucille Clifton (1936-2010)

Lucille Clifton, the Buffalo area native and author of more than 20 books who won the National Book Award in 2001 for her collection Blessing the Boats: New and Selected Poems, and in 2007 became the first African-American woman to be awarded one of the literary world’s highest honors, the Ruth Lilly Prize for lifetime achievement by the Poetry Foundation, passed away this morning in Columbia, Md., after a brief illness. She was 73.

Ms. Clifton, who was almost certainly the most important poet born and raised in the Buffalo area in the 20th century, was a major voice in American poetry, and her work over a four decade long career touched the lives of countless readers.

Watch this space in the days to come for more about Clifton's life and work, and her enduring legacy in this community.
 
--R.D. Pohl
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