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200px-Lucille_clifton

When I was in 10th grade, I had an extraordinary teacher who introduced me to contemporary poetry, including the work of the incomparable, self-taught Lucille Clifton.  Up until this time, I had been writing short stories with some small success, but the encounter with Clifton’s work spun me like a top and sent me down the poetry path and into the creative writing program at Hollins College (now University), where I studied under the poet Adrian Blevins.

Financial issues would eventually land me back at the University of New Orleans with a math/finance scholarship (money for women in math &sci was being handed out much more readily than creative writing funds).  What a 360 that was! And a story for another time. What is important to note is that I never stopped writing or got over the meteor effect of Clifton’s work.

And now that I am back at my first love, her poetry is even more of a power source, especially as I learn to trust myself with my own voice.  Here’s a handful of poems (and a printable bookmark) to put towards your own “power-pack”:

won’t you celebrate with me  (Sound)

shapeshifter poems (Video)

the mississippi river empties into the gulfimages

homage to my hips (Video)

a dream of foxes

a note passed to superman

turning (Video)

mulberry fields (Video)

leda 1,2, 3

Download the printable bookmark of Clifton (with a poem) by artist Summer Pierre

 

Hope this gets you charged up and writing!!!!

 

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