Former Maryland Poet Laureate (1979-1985) and Columbia resident, Lucille Clifton, 73, died Saturday at Johns Hopkins, after a long battle with cancer and other illnesses.
Her many honors include two Pulitzer Prize nominations, an Emmy Award from the American Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, a Lannan Literary Award, two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Shelley Memorial Award, the YM-YWHA Poetry Center Discovery Award, a National Book Award in 2001 for “Blessing the Boats: New and Selected Poems, 1988-2000,” and the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize in 2007, one of the most prestigious awards that can be won by an American Poet. She was the first African-American woman to win this award.
She was a Distinguished Professor of Humanities at St. Mary's College of Maryland. Ms. Clifton published 11 poetry collections and 20 children’s books. Her work is widely anthologized.