A Short Course: More on the Poetry & Poetics of Lucille Clifton – January 23 to February 13, 2025

In 2022, Kazim Ali offered his original four-part course on the work of Lucille Clifton for the Community of Writers Writers Annex. Following the success of that course and the many requests he had for written versions of his lectures–which he had given off the cuff, drawing from nearly two decades of reading, teaching, reciting, and otherwise engaging with Clifton’s work–Kazim focused his energy on developing an expanding the four lectures into a book-length study of Clifton’s work. This second iteration of the class will draw from Kazim’s newly published volume Black Buffalo Woman: An Introduction to the Poetry and Poetics of Lucille Clifton, and will include a sneak peek at some of Clifton’s as-yet-unpublished poems which Kazim found in the Clifton Archives while doing research for his book.

Once again in four parts, Kazim will lead participants through close readings of a number of Clifton poems, focusing on such topics as Clifton’s language, her engagement with history, mythology, and popular culture, her use of poetic form and prosody, and a tracing of various trajectories throughout her body of work, including the way she engaged with some of the most traumatic events of her life. Participants will receive a copy of Black Buffalo Woman: An Introduction to the Poetry and Poetics of Lucille Clifton, which will be used as the primary text for the course. The course will cover all new material, so those who took the first course are welcome to return and new students are especially encouraged.

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