Poet Lucille Clifton to read at local library tomorrow


Former Poet Laureate of Maryland and three-time Pulitzer Prize nominee Lucille Clifton will read from her poetry at the Howard County East Columbia branch library tomorrow.

rTC Her reading will be part of an annual event to raise money for the Friends of the Howard County library, a nonprofit organization dedicated to sustaining the library's excellence. Tickets for the 7 p.m. event are $15 for adults and $5 for students.

Mrs. Clifton said she might read from her new book of poems, "The Terrible Stories," which will be released next year.

A distinguished professor of humanities at St. Mary's College of Maryland and a professor of writing at Columbia University in New York, she has written more than 20 children's books and eight poetry books. The New York Times said her first book of poetry, "Good Times," was one of the top 10 books of 1969.

Born in Buffalo, N.Y., and the mother of six children, Mrs. Clifton lives in East Columbia's Owen Brown village, near the library. Writing wasn't something she began doing by choice, she said yesterday. "It was something I was born to do."

Her poetry, she once said, comes from her life's experiences. "I'm like every poet in the world. I write out of who I am; those things that have caught my attention or whose attention I've caught," she has said. "I write out of the accumulation of all the things that make me, about being human, about everything."

Her writing has touched the hearts of many, including Patricia Bates, the library's adult program coordinator. "I think Lucille Clifton is one of our state's hidden treasures," Ms. Bates said. "Her poetry is beautiful . . . Anybody who hears her read knows what a treat they are having because she makes her poetry come alive."

Information: (410)-313-7768.

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