Now available for worldwide viewing on HoCoPoLitSo’s YouTube Channel, Lucille Clifton and Carolyn Kizer talking about writing.
Lucille Clifton and Carolyn Kizer:
In this first ever edition of HoCoPoLitSo’s “The Writing Life,” taped in 1985, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Carolyn Kizer and National Book Award-winning poet Lucille Clifton interview each other and read their work. Clifton, who died in 2010, and Kizer speak about the way a place affects writing poetry, about the death of Clifton’s husband from cancer, about the restrictions on women and women poets. Clifton reads “Atlantic is a sea of bones,” a poem about the women of South Africa called “there,” and “sorrow song,” about violence and responsibility in the world. Clifton also reads “blooming,” “I’m going back to my true identity,” and “album.” Kizer reads “Bitch,” “To an Unknown Poet,” “Exodus” and talks about the structure and form of poetry, especially in her poem “Afternoon Happiness.”
“All of our writing is a trying to say,” Clifton says. “We make a mistake if we start saying that our writing is a saying, because it is at best a trying to say.”