July 8 – Aug 19: **FULL** Exploring the Works of Lucille Clifton with Cheryl Clarke


4-Part Online Zoom Workshop
The workshop will run from 6-7:30p on the following evenings:
July 8, July 22, Aug 5 and Aug 19                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Workshop Fee: $25 – Scholarships are available


Join local writer and educator Cheryl Clarke for an exploration into the works of poet Lucille Clifton.

            Who remembers the names of slaves? Only the children of slaves. (Generations: A Memoir, 1976)

This is a four-session seminar on the poetry of Lucille Clifton, whose work craves more attention and ever returns benefits. The winner of numerous honors as a poet, among them the National Book Award, Clifton’s poetry is distinguished by its spare linguistics, its loyalty to African-American literary traditions, and its understated critique of American racism. She was ever beholden to her slave ancestry, as is beautifully acknowledged in Generations: A Memoir.

As distinguished poet and 2020 winner of the Jackson Prize, Ed Roberson once said to his undergraduate class, when speaking of Clifton’s compression. “She’s our best.” And he went on to analyze the first lines of her deceptively accessible poem, “in the inner city/or/ like we call it home. . . .” in which the narrator quietly exposes white tropes of black life, i.e., “the inner city.”

Taking her sensibilities from most of American poetry, i.e., Wheatley, Whitman, Dickinson, Hughes, Brooks, Cummings, Ginsburg, Clifton gave us eleven collections of poetry, her haunting memoir mentioned above, more than 10 children’s and young adult books, and three collected works, including the last volume The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton 1965-2010. She was a prolific writer and a tireless poetry advocate, having decided early she’d rather write poetry than attend college. However, she did meet Toni Morrison briefly while both were at Howard University in the late 1950’s.

These four-sessions will examine Clifton’s “poetics”: i.e., how she makes her poems, form and line, discipline, how she makes their history, and what they teach us about poetry and history and more

Finally, what does Clifton’s poetry teach us about the United States?           

Clarke led a very popular workshop in 2019 on the works of Audrey Lorde. It was such a success that the attendees voted to add another night to the session! So, we suggest signing up quickly.