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The Folger Spotlight

ENCORES: The Folger Poetry Board Reading with Lucille Clifton (2008)

Folger Public Programs is pleased to present ENCORES, a bi-weekly online series highlighting past performances and recalling the rich history of programming on the historic Folger stage. These ENCORES provide a way to connect and revisit the breadth of Folger offerings with a wider audience.

ENCORES presents

O.B. Hardison Poetry Series
The Folger Poetry Board Reading
with Lucille Clifton
May 13, 2008
Learn more about other reading in this series on Folgerpedia

Lucille Clifton reads her poems

  • “in amira’s room”
  • “faith”
  • “sorrows””
    • From Voices (2008)


  • “won’t you celebrate with me”
    • From The Book of Light (1992)

Read the introduction by Lucille’s daughter, Alexia Clifton:

Hello and welcome to Folger Encores. I’m Alexia Clifton, and I’m so happy to be able to speak with you. Today we are joining together to share some of a reading from the O.B. Hardison Poetry Series featuring an evening of writing from my mother, poet Lucille Clifton. In 2008, she gave a Poetry Board Reading in which she was honored and shared her favorite poems by other authors as well as their own work.

My mom published her first book of poetry in 1969, and in this reading, nearly 40 years later, her writing is fresh and vibrant. She told it like it was with honesty and clarity and great warmth. As you will hear in this selection, my mom wrote about our world and living as a Black American female poet. And the contributions she made to poetry and our understanding of ourselves were thoughtful and powerful.

My mom passed away in 2010 and it is a pleasure to honor her today. I hope you enjoy experiencing some of the poems she shared with us. And please join us again for these biweekly episodes of Encores, highlighting all that the Folger has to offer. Thank you.

Encores LogoCheck back every other Friday for a new “from the archives” performance, introduced by some of our favorite artists, showcasing the best of Folger TheatreFolger ConsortO.B. Hardison Poetry, and lectures.