Rankine, Claudia. Citizen: An American Lyric. Minneapolis. 2014. Graywolf Press. 9781555976903. 174 pages. hardcover. Cover art: David Hammons, In the Hood, 1993. Cover design: John Lucas.  


9781555976903FROM THE PUBLISHER - 


Claudia Rankine's Citizen comes at you like doom. It's the best note in the wrong song that is America. Its various realities 'mistaken' identity, social racism, the whole fabric of urban and suburban life—are almost too much to bear, but you bear them, because it's the truth. Citizen is Rankine's Spoon River Anthology, an epic as large and frightening and beautiful as the country and various emotional states that produced it. —Hilton Als. Claudia Rankine's Citizen combines intellectual generosity, fearlessness, beauty, and a salutary note of strangeness: she allows her ethical formulations to remain askew, tilted, ajar, so that ambiguity, hope, and sorrow can move in animating currents through her utterance's chambers. Rankine's work always repays close and admiring attention, and Citizen shows this brilliant poet and thinker advancing into urgent new zones of revelatory (and musically alert) investigation. —Wayne Koestenbaum. What does it mean to be a black citizen in the US of the early twenty-first century? Claudia Rankine's brilliant, terse, and parabolic prose poems have a shock value rarely found in poetry. These tales of everyday life—whether the narrator's or the lives of young black men like Trayvon Martin and James Craig Anderson—dwell on the most normal exteriors and the most ordinary of daily situations so as to expose what is really there: a racism so guarded and carefully masked as to make it all the more insidious. Rankine is never didactic: she merely presents, her eye for the telling detail and the documentary image allowing you to draw your own conclusions. Citizen is an unforgettable book. —Marjorie Perloff. Claudia Rankine's Citizen is a courageous, tough, bighearted giant of a little book. In our current climate of Post-black and go-along to get-along, Rankine suffers no fools and takes no prisoners but lovingly embraces and articulates the trauma and contradictions of what happens when one person is spat upon and another person spits.—William Pope.L. Rankine ClaudiaThis book is made possible through a partnership with the College of St. Benedict, and honors the legacy of S. Mariella Gable, a distinguished teacher at the College.

Claudia Rankine is a Jamaican poet and playwright born in 1963 and raised in Kingston, Jamaica and New York City. She has taught at Case Western Reserve University, Barnard College, University of Georgia, and in the writing program at the University of Houston. As of 2011, Rankine is the Henry G. Lee Professor of Poetry at Pomona College.








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