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Lucille Clifton was born in Depew, New York in 1936. Her first book of poems, Good Times, was rated one of the best books of the year by the New York Times in 1969. Among her many collections since then, both Two-Headed Woman (1980) and Good Woman: Poems and a Memoir 1969-80 (1987) were nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, and Blessing the Boats: New and Selected Poems 1988-2000 (2000) won the National Book Award. Her other honours include an Emmy Award, a Lannan Literary Award, two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Shelley Memorial Award, the YM-YWHA Poetry Center Discovery Award, and the 2007 Ruth Lilly Prize. In 1999, she was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. She has served as Poet Laureate for the State of Maryland and Distinguished Professor of Humanities at St. Mary's College of Maryland. After a long battle with cancer, Lucille Clifton died in February 2010, at the age of 73.