Vista Ramada: Lucille Clifton
the ones who live in the desert,
if you knew them
you would understand everything.
When this poem was published, it was dedicated to Lois and Richard Shelton. It may have been written on a trip to the Desert Museum. An easterner, Clifton was at first afraid of the desert, but came to love it on her visits to the Poetry Center and the Desert Museum.
Lucille Clifton was born in Depew, New York, on June 27, 1936. Her collection Good Woman: Poems and a Memoir 1969-1980 (1987) was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. She has also written Generations: A Memoir (1976) and more than sixteen books for children, written expressly for an African-American audience. Her honors include an Emmy Award from the American Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.