This rendering of the Lakefront North shows the existing Lake Kittamaqundi at the top with Merriweather Lakehouse Hotel in the center. The street addresses of the three apartment buildings to be constructed are drawn from the poetry of Lucille Clifton, a Columbia resident who was Maryland's poet laureate. Illustration from the Howard Hughes Corp.

Hundreds of Columbia, Maryland’s often odd and unusual street names are drawn from the works of famous American authors and poets – mostly the works of old, dead white men.

On Thursday, the Howard Hughes Corp., the successor developer of Columbia, announced it would name three of downtown’s newest streets from the poetry of Lucille Clifton, a Black woman and the late poet laureate of Maryland who actually lived in Columbia.

The cover of Lucille Clifton’s collected poetry.

The new streets will be named Rustling Sky Way, Singing Stone Terrace and Distant Star Lane. They will become the addresses of three apartment buildings with 701 units on an 11-acre parcel known as Lakefront North that is currently a parking lot and the site of demolished office buildings.

“My family is deeply honored for this beautiful acknowledgement of my mom’s legacy and awesome body of work,” said Lexi Clifton, daughter of Lucille Clifton. “She truly loved Columbia and Howard County and would be thrilled to be recognized in this way in a town that she called home.”

Clifton authored over 30 books, including the Everett Anderson stories and a memoir. She won the National Book Award and was twice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry. Her writing for children won her the Coretta Scott King Award and an Emmy for Free to Be You and Me.

The new apartments whose site plan was approved by the Howard County Planning Board June 1 include 77 affordable units. The neighborhood will also provide new retail, below-grade parking and enhanced connectivity to the lakefront as well as two community parks.

About The Author

Len Lazarick

Len Lazarick was the founding editor and publisher of and is currently the president of its nonprofit corporation and chairman of its board He was formerly the State House bureau chief of the daily Baltimore Examiner from its start in April 2006 to its demise in February 2009. He was a copy editor on the national desk of the Washington Post for eight years before that, and has spent decades covering Maryland politics and government.

1 Comment

  1. David Taylor

    This is news? It’s just virtue signaling. There are far more important news stories to cover.

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