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Word Ballast discussing Lucille Clifton

  • Broadcast in Poetry
World Wide Word

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Join Billy Burgos & Afaa Michael Weaver as they discuss Lucille Clifton her poems her life the new book from Boa Edition The Collected Poems Of Lucille Clifton

A native of Baltimore, Maryland, Afaa Michael Weaver was born Michael S. Weaver to working class parents in 1951. His poetry echoes the gospel and blues ethos of his mother and father, who were themselves the children of farmers in southernmost Virginia. His father grew up as a sharecropper. The eldest of five children, Weaver graduated from Baltimore Polytechnic high school and entered the University of Maryland in College Park at the age of 16. He studied for two years before leaving to marry and take a job in a Baltimore factory owned by Bethlehem Steel. He also joined the 342nd Army Security Agency as a reservist that spring. Weaver was called to basic training in Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, that winter and returned to Bethlehem Steel in the spring of 1971, when he was hired as semi-skilled worker at Procter & Gamble in the Locust Point neighborhood of South Baltimore, just across the harbor from Fells Point, the neighborhood in which Frederick Douglass lived until he escaped from slavery.