At 16, Lucille Clifton entered college early, matriculating as a drama major at Howard University. In 1969, poet Robert Hayden entered her poems into competition for the YW-YMHA Poetry Center Discovery Award; she won the award and with it the publication of her first volume of poems, Good Times. Clifton served as Poet Laureate of Maryland from 1979 to 1982, and in 2000 she won the National Book Award for her selected poems, Blessing the Boats. Her papers were acquired by Emory in 2006. In addition, the Rose Library obtained Lucille Clifton’s personal library, now part of the Raymond Danowski Poetry Library.

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