National Book Awards Acceptance Speeches

Lucille Clifton, Winner of the 2000 POETRY AWARD for
Blessing the Boats: New and Selected Poems 1988-2000

I am amazed, continually, at the roller coaster that is my life. I am amazed and proud to be a patch on the quilt that is contemporary American poetry. I am amazed and proud of the support of my children, of my friends, of my poetry family: my extended family. I am proud of the support of Boa Editions that had two finalists. I am very proud to have been listed with the wonderful, stellar poets who were finalists. I am amazed. I thank you very much, and I hope that I will continue to try to deserve this award.