Talking with Lucille Clifton

Poetry in Person, edited by Alexander Neubauer, is a rich book of conversations between Pearl London, the legendary New School teacher, and the many important American poets she brought into her classroom to share their poems in progress. Lucille Clifton, who passed away in February of this year, visited London’s classroom on May 3, 1983. She spoke about her childhood and beginnings as a poet, about the personal and political dimensions of being a black woman poet (she references Gwendolyn Brooks’s remark “Whenever I walk down the street it’s a political statement”), and shared drafts of her work with London and her students.

Click here to hear Clifton on being an extraordinary ordinary woman.

And here to hear her read her poem “the thirty eighth year.”

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