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Claudia Rankine

Claudia Rankine, photo by John Lucas

Reading: Claudia Rankine


Claudia Rankine reads in connection with William Pope.L: Trinket. In her latest poetry volume, Citizen: An American Lyric, Rankine investigates racial microaggressions in American media and daily life. The New Yorker praises the book as “a weave of artfully juxtaposed intensities, a quarrel within form about form,” and vital in the era of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown. Pope.L himself calls it a “courageous, tough, bighearted giant of a little book.” Citizen is a National Book Award Finalist for Poetry, and the first book ever nominated in two categories for the National Book Critics Circle Award.

A writer whose work blurs the boundaries of poetry, essays, and images, Rankine was born in Kingston, Jamaica, educated at Williams College and Columbia University, and now teaches at Pomona College. In addition to Citizen, her poetry collections include Don't Let Me Be Lonely (2004), Plot (2001), The End of the Alphabet (1998) and Nothing in Nature is Private (1994). She is also a playwright whose works include The Provenance of Beauty: A South Bronx Travelogue and Existing Conditions.