Series 1
Correspondence, 1968-2010
Boxes 1-14; OP1

Scope and Content Note

The correspondence series contains letters Clifton received from 1968 to 2008. This series includes correspondence from family, friends, editors, fans of her writing, and university professors requesting her presence for speaking engagements. The correspondence ranges from greetings cards and congratulatory notes to detailed professional and personal correspondence from editors and close friends.

This series offers evidence concerning both Lucille Clifton's personal and professional life. The personal correspondence includes letters from family and friends, such as Clifton's children and close friend Kennette Wilkes, and fellow poets Denise Levertov, Gwendolyn Brooks, Adrienne Rich, and Toi Derricotte. This correspondence also includes congratulatory notes, sympathy cards and other remarks from such poets as Josephine Jacobsen, Galway Kinnell, Stanley Kunitz, Carolyn Kizer, and Rita Dove. A significant amount of this correspondence stems from her kidney transplant in 1997 and her 2000 National Book Award for Blessing the Boats.

In addition to personal correspondence, the series also documents Clifton's professional life. This includes her work as a poet, children's author, professor, and college lecturer. Significant correspondence between Clifton and her publishers demonstrates her working relationship with editors Toni Morrison, Marilyn Marlow, A. Poulin Jr., and illustrator Ann Grifalconi. The correspondence concerning Clifton's teaching and lecturing career includes solicitations for speaking at numerous universities, offers for visiting professorships, and correspondence with colleagues such as St. Mary's College of Maryland Professor Michael Glaser, and former Columbia President Michael I. Sovern.

The series also includes a number of unidentified correspondence, undated letters, and correspondence to and from others. Some correspondence originally undated has been filed with bracketed dates to indicate that the dates on those letters were approximated during processing. Writings by others that accompany correspondence remain within the correspondence series.

Correspondence can also be found in Born digital materials (Series 11).

Arrangement Note

Arranged in chronological order.

Scope and Content Note The correspondence series contains letters Clifton received from 1968 to 2008. This series includes correspondence from family, friends, editors, fans of her writing, and university professors requesting her presence for speaking engagements. The correspondence ranges from greetings cards and congratulatory notes to detailed professional and personal correspondence from editors and close friends. This series offers evidence concerning both Lucille Clifton's personal and professional life. The personal correspondence includes letters from family and friends, such as Clifton's children and close friend Kennette Wilkes, and fellow poets Denise Levertov, Gwendolyn Brooks, Adrienne Rich, and Toi Derricotte. This correspondence also includes congratulatory notes, sympathy cards and other remarks from such poets as Josephine Jacobsen, Galway Kinnell, Stanley Kunitz, Carolyn Kizer, and Rita Dove. A significant amount of this correspondence stems from her kidney transplant in 1997 and her 2000 National Book Award for Blessing the Boats. In addition to personal correspondence, the series also documents Clifton's professional life. This includes her work as a poet, children's author, professor, and college lecturer. Significant correspondence between Clifton and her publishers demonstrates her working relationship with editors Toni Morrison, Marilyn Marlow, A. Poulin Jr., and illustrator Ann Grifalconi. The correspondence concerning Clifton's teaching and lecturing career includes solicitations for speaking at numerous universities, offers for visiting professorships, and correspondence with colleagues such as St. Mary's College of Maryland Professor Michael Glaser, and former Columbia President Michael I. Sovern. The series also includes a number of unidentified correspondence, undated letters, and correspondence to and from others. Some correspondence originally undated has been filed with bracketed dates to indicate that the dates on those letters were approximated during processing. Writings by others that accompany correspondence remain within the correspondence series. Correspondence can also be found in Born digital materials (Series 11).
Box Folder Content
1 1 1968-1969
1 2 1970-1971
1 3 1972
1 4 1973
1 5 1974
1 6 1975
1 7 1976
1 8 1977
1 9 1979
1 10 1980
1 11 1981
1 12 1982
2 1 1983
2 2 1984
2 3 1985
2 4 January-May 1986
2 5 June-December 1986
2 6 January-April 1987
2 7 May-June 1987
2 8 July-December 1987
3 1 January-February 1988
3 2 March 1988
3 3 April-June 1988
3 4 July-September 1988
3 5 October-December 1988
3 6 January 1989
3 7 February 1989
3 8 March 1989
4 1 April 1989
4 2 May 1989
4 3 June 1989
4 4 July-October 1989
4 5 November 1989
4 6 December 1989
4 7 January 1990
5 1 February 1990
5 2 March 1990
5 3 April 1990
5 4 May-June 1990
5 5 July 1990
5 6 August 1990
5 7 September 1990
5 8 October 1990
5 9 November 1990
6 1 December 1990
6 2 January 1991
6 3 February 1991
6 4 March 1991
6 5 April 1991
6 6 May-August 1991
6 7 September 1991
7 1 October 1991
7 2 November-December 1991
7 3 January-March 1992
7 4 April-June 1992
7 5 July 1992
7 6 August-December 1992
8 1 1993
8 2 January-June 1994
8 3 July-December 1994
8 4 January-July 1995
8 5 August-December 1995
8 6 January-October 1996
9 1 November-December 1996
9 2 January-March 1997
9 3 April 1997
9 4 May-June 1997
9 5 July-September 1997
10 1 October-December 1997
10 2 January-February 1998
10 3 March-April 1998
10 4 May-June 1998
10 5 July 1998
10 6 August 1998
10 7 September 1998
11 1 October 1998
11 2 November-December1998
11 3 January-February 1999
11 4 March-April 1999
11 5 May 1999
11 6 June 1999
11 7 July-August 1999
12 1 September-November 1999
12 2 January-October 2000
12 3 November 1-November 18 2000
12 4 November 19-December 2000
12 5 2001
12 6 January-May, 2002
13 1 June-December, 2002
13 2 January-May 2003
13 3 July-December 2003
13 4 2004
13 5 2005
13 6 2006
13 7 2007
13 8 2008-2010
13 9 No date, A-C
14 1 No date, D-L
14 2 No date, M-Y
OP1 - Correspondence from children and elementary school classes, no date, 1984
14 3 Correspondence from children and elementary school classes, no date
14 4 Correspondence from children and elementary school classes, no date, 1987
14 5 Correspondence to and from others, 1967-2004
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