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73 Poems for 73 Years: James Mason University honors Lucille Clifton

This evening brings yet another high-profile posthumous tribute to Lucille Clifton, the Buffalo area native and National Book Award winning poet, who died on Feb. 13. 

The Furious Flower Poetry Center at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va., in conjunction with the Steger Creative Writing Prize Foundation at Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg, Va., are presenting "73 Poems for 73 Years: Celebrating the Life of Lucille Clifton" at 7 p.m. tonight in Wilson Hall Auditorium of James Mason University in Harrisburg.

Among the 73 scheduled participants in the program are such luminaries as Elizabeth Alexander, Amiri Baraka, Amini Baraka, Alexia Clifton, Peter Conners, Fred D'Aguiar, Rita Dove, Nikki Giovanni, Michael Glaser, Lucinda Roy, Sonia Sanchez and Kevin Young.

Clifton was the first African-American woman poet to receive the prestigious Ruth Lily Prize for career achievement in American poetry from the Poetry Foundation, and on April 1 was awarded the Frost Centennial Medal posthumously by the Poetry Society of America. The former Poet Laureate of the State of Maryland and three-time Pulitzer Prize nominee, Clifton won the National Book Award for Poetry in 2000 for her collection Blessing the Boats: New and Collected Poems 1988-2000, published by the Rochester-based independent publisher BOA Editions.

--R.D. Pohl

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