Lucille Clifton, National Book Award winner and former poet laureate of Maryland, died Saturday at Johns Hopkins Hospital. She was 73.
Mrs. Clifton, a resident of Columbia, was a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist and was honored on many other occasions during her career. She was awarded honorary degrees from the University of Maryland and Towson University. She was the poet-in-resident at Coppin State College between 1971 and 1974. The second woman and the first African American to serve as poet laureate of Maryland, she was also the first black woman to win the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize award, in 2007, among the most prestigious awards that can be won by an American poet. It included at $100,000.00 stipend.
Besides her eleven poetry collections, Mrs. Clifton published 20 children's books, and her poems have appeared in more than 100 anthologies, according to her biography.
Mrs. Clifton and her husband, Fred Clifton, a philosophy professor at the University of Buffalo, moved to Baltimore in the 1960s and had six children. Her husband died in the 1984. (source The Baltimore Sun February 14, 2010)