CLIFTON, LUCILLE, 1936-2010.
Lucille Clifton papers, circa 1930-2011

Emory University

Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library

Atlanta, GA 30322

404-727-6887

rose.library@emory.edu

Permanent link: http://pid.emory.edu/ark:/25593/8z4d8


Descriptive Summary

Creator: Clifton, Lucille, 1936-2010.
Title: Lucille Clifton papers, circa 1930-2011
Call Number:Manuscript Collection No. 1054
Extent: 44.25 linear feet (92 boxes), 4 oversized papers boxes and 2 oversized papers folders (OP), 6 bound volumes (BV), 4 oversized bound volumes (OBV), AV Masters: 1.75 linear feet (3 boxes), and 49.7 GB born digital materials.
Abstract:Papers of African American poet Lucille Clifton, including manuscripts, correspondence, clippings, scrapbooks, broadsides, printed material, and born digital materials.
Language:Materials entirely in English.

Administrative Information

Restrictions on Access

Special restrictions apply: Series 11: Access to born digital materials is only available in the Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library (the Rose Library). Use of the original digital media is restricted. Due to technical complications, the Rose Library is currently unable to provide access to remaining unprocessed born digital materials.

Use copies have not been made for some audiovisual material in this collection. Researchers must contact the Rose Library at least two weeks in advance for access to these items. Collection restrictions, copyright limitations, or technical complications may hinder the Rose Library's ability to provide access to audiovisual material.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.

Researchers are not permitted to copy or download any of the digital files from the computer workstation.

Separated Material

Emory University also holds the private library of Lucille Clifton. These materials may be located in the Emory University online catalog by searching for Clifton, Lucille, former owner.

Source

Purchased from Lucille Clifton, 2006. Additions were purchased from Lucille Clifton in 2009 and Alexia Clifton in 2012 and 2014. A small amount of material was purchased from rare book and manuscript dealer M. Benjamin Katz in 2014.

Custodial History

Alexia Clifton is Lucille Clifton's daughter.

Citation

[after identification of item(s)], Lucille Clifton papers, Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, Emory University.

Appraisal Note

Kevin Young, Curator of Literary Collections and the Raymond Danowski Poetry Library, acquired this collection as part of the Rose Library's holdings in African American literature and poetry.

Processing

Processed by Laura Carroll, Sarah Prince, and Christopher Sawula, January 2010.

Additions received in 2012 were arranged and described at the file level by Sarah Quigley, Maggie Greaves, and Michael Hessel-Mial in 2012.

Additions received in 2014 (boxes 89-92) were arranged and described at the file level by Jina DuVernay and Sarah Quigley, 2021.

Born digital materials processed by Dorothy Waugh, June 2014. The born digital materials currently available to researchers include email and files taken from Lucille Clifton's personal computer, an HP Tower Pavilion Elite M9040N, and from four Magnavox VideoWriter diskettes. For information as to how these materials were processed, see the processing note in the description of series 11, Born digital materials.

This finding aid may include language that is offensive or harmful. Please refer to the Rose Library's harmful language statement for more information about why such language may appear and ongoing efforts to remediate racist, ableist, sexist, homophobic, euphemistic and other oppressive language. If you are concerned about language used in this finding aid, please contact us at rose.library@emory.edu.


Collection Description

Biographical Note

Lucille Clifton (1936-2010), African American poet and children's book author. She was born Thelma Lucille Sayles on June 27, 1936 to Samuel L. Sayles, Sr. and Thelma Moore Sayles in Depew, New York. At the age of seven, the Sayles family moved to nearby Buffalo, New York. From 1953-1955, Lucille attended Howard University from 1953-1955 and Fredonia State Teachers College (now State University of New York College at Fredonia) in 1955.

Lucille Sayles married Fred Clifton (1934-1984) on May 10, 1958, and had six children in the next seven years, Sidney (1959), Fredrica (1961-2000), Channing (1962-2004), Gillian (1963), Graham (1964) and Alexia (1965).

Clifton's first volume of poetry, Good Times, was published in 1969 and chosen by The New York Times as one of the ten best books of the year. Other volumes of poetry followed, including Good News About the Earth (1972), and An Ordinary Woman (1974), Next: New Poems (1987), and The Terrible Stories(1996), which was nominated for a National Book Award. She has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for the years 1980, 1987, 1988, and 1991, and her Blessing the Boats (2000) won the National Book Award for Poetry.

In addition to poetry, Clifton has written many children's books, including eight volumes featuring the character of Everett Anderson. Everett Anderson's Goodbye won the Coretta Scott King Award from the American Library Association in 1984.

Throughout her career as a poet and children's book author, Clifton has also taught poetry and creative writing at several institutions, including Coppin State College in Baltimore, Maryland (1972-1976), University of California, Santa Cruz (1985-1989), and St. Mary's College of Maryland (1989-2006). In 2007, Clifton won the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize. Clifton died on February 13, 2010.

Lucille Clifton (1936-2010), African American poet and children's book author. She was born Thelma Lucille Sayles on June 27, 1936 to Samuel L. Sayles, Sr. and Thelma Moore Sayles in Depew, New York. At the age of seven, the Sayles family moved to nearby Buffalo, New York. From 1953-1955, Lucille attended Howard University from 1953-1955 and Fredonia State Teachers College (now State University of New York College at Fredonia) in 1955.

Lucille Sayles married Fred Clifton (1934-1984) on May 10, 1958, and had six children in the next seven years, Sidney (1959), Fredrica (1961-2000), Channing (1962-2004), Gillian (1963), Graham (1964) and Alexia (1965).

Clifton's first volume of poetry, Good Times, was published in 1969 and chosen by The New York Times as one of the ten best books of the year. Other volumes of poetry followed, including Good News About the Earth (1972), and An Ordinary Woman (1974), Next: New Poems (1987), and The Terrible Stories(1996), which was nominated for a National Book Award. She has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for the years 1980, 1987, 1988, and 1991, and her Blessing the Boats (2000) won the National Book Award for Poetry.

In addition to poetry, Clifton has written many children's books, including eight volumes featuring the character of Everett Anderson. Everett Anderson's Goodbye won the Coretta Scott King Award from the American Library Association in 1984.

Throughout her career as a poet and children's book author, Clifton has also taught poetry and creative writing at several institutions, including Coppin State College in Baltimore, Maryland (1972-1976), University of California, Santa Cruz (1985-1989), and St. Mary's College of Maryland (1989-2006). In 2007, Clifton won the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize. Clifton died on February 13, 2010.

Scope and Content Note

The collection contains the literary and personal papers of Lucille Clifton from circa 1930-2011. The materials document Clifton's work as a poet, children's book author, and teacher, her participation in literary organizations, and the development of her personal and professional relationships. The papers include correspondence, writings by Clifton, writings by others, teaching and workshop files, subject files, personal papers, printed material, photographs, audiovisual material, and born digital materials. The collection also includes the papers of Fred Clifton, Clifton's husband.

Arrangement Note

Organized into 11 series: (1) Correspondence, (2) Writings by Clifton, (3) Writings by others, (4) Teaching and workshop files, (5) Subject and organization files, (6) Personal papers, (7) Printed material, (8) Photographs, (9) Audiovisual material, (10) Fred Clifton papers, and (11) Born digital materials.


Selected Search Terms

Personal Names

Topical Terms

Form/Genre Terms


Description of Series

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