Mercy (American Poets Continuum)

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9781929918553: Mercy (American Poets Continuum)

Lucille Clifton’s poetry carries her deep concerns for the world’s children, the stratification of American society, those people lost or forgotten amid the crushing race of Western materialism and technology. In turns sad, troubled and angry, her voice has always been one of great empathy, knowing, as she says, “the only mercy is memory.” In this, her 12th book of poetry, the National Book Award-winner speaks to the tenuous relationship between mothers and daughters, the debilitating power of cancer, the open wound of racial prejudice, the redemptive gift of story-telling. “September Song,” a sequence of seven poems, featured on National Public Radio, presents a modern-day Orpheus who, through her grief, attempts to heart-intelligently respond to the events of September 11th. The last sequence of poems—a tightly-woven fabric of caveats and prayers—was initially written in the 1970s, then revised and reshaped in the last few years.

Lucille Clifton is an award-winning poet, fiction writer and author of children’s books. Her most recent poetry book, Blessing the Boats: New and Selected Poems 1969–1999 (BOA), won the 2000 National Book Award for Poetry. Two of Clifton’s BOA poetry collections, Good Woman: Poems and a Memoir 1969–1980 and Next: New Poems, were chosen as finalists for the Pulitzer Prize in 1988, while Clifton’s The Terrible Stories (BOA) was a finalist for the 1996 National Book Award. Clifton has received fellowships from the NEA, an Emmy Award from the American Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the Shelley Memorial Prize and the Charity Randall Citation. She is a Distinguished Professor of Humanities as St. Mary’s College in Maryland. She was appointed a Fellow of The American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and elected as Chancellor of The Academy of American Poets in 1999. She lives in Columbia, MD.

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About the Author:

Lucille Clifton won the 2007 Ruth Lilly Poetry Award. Her book, Blessing the Boats (BOA Editions), won the 2000 National Book Award for Poetry. Two of Clifton's BOA poetry collections were chosen as finalists for the Pulitzer Prize in 1988. Clifton's awards include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and an Emmy Award.

From Booklist:

With numerous awards and publication credits under her belt, Lucille Clifton has more than proven her worth over a long poetic career. In her twelfth collection, Clifton again showcases her gifts of a musical ear attuned to everyday language, a Zen-like minimalism of form and sentence structure, and keen perception that sees beyond obvious realities to a deeply spiritual realm. From the wreckage of what is lost in life to such forces as cancer and terrorism, to the redemption of what remains, like birth and otherworldly assistance, Clifton's voice speaks truth and sings hope. One can see a bit of Dickinson here, as well as Gwendolyn Brooks. And in the last section of Mercy, "The Message from the Ones" (a kind of angelic channeling), there is poignancy akin to Rilke's Duino Elegies. Clifton is a poet who should attract a diverse audience. In fact, her poems are so accessible, and appear so straightforward, that one could easily mistake them as simplistic; but that is something her work will never be. Janet St. John
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Book Description BOA Editions, Limited, United States, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book. Lucille Clifton s book sales are in the tens-of-thousands annually. She is among the most widely-read and appreciated poets in American verse. Her last collection, Blessing the Boats (BOA, 2000), won the National Book Award, and her collection, The Terrible Stories (BOA, 1996), was a NBA finalist. She is the only poet to be nominated for two Pulitzer Prizes in the same year. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9781929918553

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