Wonder Women #GGxPE: Lucille Clifton

In honor of our collab with the fabulous Gia Graham, Paper Epiphanies will be highlighting the 6 amazing women depicted in these cards during the entire month of February in a new series we call Wonder Women #GGxPE. In this series we aim to show you a side to these notable women that you might not have seen before by presenting, first, the brief biography found on the back of every #GGxPE card and, second, 10 fun facts about their careers, activism and lives. We hope you appreciate them as much as we do!

Lucille Clifton and Her 10 Fun Facts

Lucille Clifton (1936-2010) was an author, educator and Poet Laureate of Maryland. Clifton’s poem “Homage To My Hips” celebrated the African-American female body as a source of power, sexuality, pride, and freedom.

1. Girls in Clinton’s family were born with an extra finger on each hand— a genetic trait known as polydactyly. Clinton’s two extra fingers were amputated when she was young but her two “ghost fingers” remained a theme in her writing.

2. Clinton’s mother was also a poet, though worked as a launderer.

3. Clinton’s parents passed an appreciation of books and reading to their children, even though neither was formally educated.

4. Clinton first entered Howard University early, at only 16 years old, as a drama major. She then transferred to Fredonia State Teachers College three years later, where she began to develop her acting a poetry.

5. Clinton’s first poetry book Good Times (1969) won The New York Times’ Ten Best Books of the Year.

6. Clifton was the author of more than sixteen children’s book intended specifically for African-American children.

7. Clifton was the first author to have two books of poetry nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.

8. Clinton touches on many intense subjects in her poems including oppression, death, molestation and racism, as well as pride in her ancestry and the black female body.

9. Clinton was influenced spiritually by many religions and religious figures, including Jesus, the black God Kali and many other African goddesses and Native American beliefs.

10. Clinton was a mother of 6 and often was inspired by her family and children in her work.