Toi Derricotte Celebrates Lucille Clifton
Toi Derricotte, 2012 PEN/Voelcker Winner for Poetry, will read for HoCoPoLitSo 8 pm, November 2, at the Horowitz Center for Visual and Performing Arts’ Monteaboro Recital Hall on the Howard Community College campus.
Tickets are available $15 to the general public; $10 for students and senior citizens. Credit card orders are available at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/280070.
Good Times: Toi Derricotte Celebrates Poetry and Lucille Clifton celebrates distinguished poet and University of Pittsburgh professor Derricotte’s recent work, The Undertaker’s Daughter, and Lucille Clifton’s influence on Derricotte’s work.
“We are proud to welcome back Toi to read for HoCoPoLitSo and celebrate our good friend and former board member, Lucille Clifton,” said Dr. Tara Hart, Co-Chair, HoCoPoLitSo.
“Lucille was a personal friend and also a supporter of other poets’ work,” Derricotte said, reflecting upon the personal impact Clifton had on her own work, on other writers’ work and on the literary community.
Derricotte, co-founder of Cave Canem, a summer poetry workshop for African-American writers, frequently hosted Clifton who provided constructive, critical advice to young and emerging writers.
“She (Clifton) came to Cave Canem several times even when she was extremely ill, so you can imagine how grateful we all were for her presence,” Derricotte said. “She gave of herself without holding back. This, in itself, was a totally unique gift to all of us.”
Clifton (1936-2010) was a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist for poetry, a former Maryland Poet Laureate, The Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize winner, and she is scheduled to receive The Robert Frost Medal for lifetime achievement for poetry from the Poetry Society of America.
She left a 45-year legacy of poetry, children’s books and other writing. The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton 1965-2010, edited by Kevin Young and Michael S. Glaser, “provides a definitive statement about this major American poet’s career.”
Derricotte’s work, greatly influenced by Clifton, makes a statement of its own. The Undertaker’s Daughter has been hearlded as another great work from Derricotte. The Washington Post has described these “Poems that stick with you like a song that won’t stop repeating itself in your brain…”
“Derricotte’s work continues to have a profound impact on society and HoCoPoLitSo is honored to add her to the long list of distinguished, award-winning writers that have shared their work with our community,” Hart said.
For more than 38 years, HoCoPoLitSo has nurtured a love and respect for contemporary literary arts and global literary heritage in Howard County. The society sponsors live readings by authors and hosts a monthly television series, literary contest, writers-in-residence outreach programs and activities, and partners with other cultural arts societies to support the arts in Howard County, Maryland.