1969 Lucille Clifton's first book, a collection of poetry entitled
Good Times, was published and hailed by The New York Times as one
of the year's 10 best books. Two years later she became a writer
in residence at the historically black Coppin State College in Baltimore,
Maryland. At Coppin she produced two further books of poetry, Good
News About the Earth (1972) and An Ordinary Woman (1974). In 1979
she was named Poet Laureate of the state of Maryland.
Clifton's many children's books, written expressly
for an African-American audience, include All Us Come Cross the
Water (1973), My Friend Jacob (1980), and Three Wishes (1992). She
also wrote an award-winning series of books featuring events in
the life of Everett Anderson, a young black boy. Her children's
books now total over 20.
Besides appearing in over 100 anthologies of poetry,
she has come to popular attention through television appearances
on the "Today Show", "Sunday Morning", with Charles Kuralt, "Nightline,"
and Bill Moyers's series, "The Power of the Word."
In 1988, she became the first author to have two
books of poetry chosen as finalists for the Pulitzer Prize (Good
Woman and Next ). She has held the Distinguished Professor of Humanities
at St. Mary's College of Maryland from 1991 to the present, lives
in Columbia, Maryland, and has raised six children.