Category Archives: Poetry



Graywolf Press
160 pages • $20.00
ISBN: 978-1-55597-690-3

An American Lyric

Claudia Rankine

Winner of the Jackson Poetry Prize
Winner of the PEN Open Book Award
Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award
Finalist for the 2014 National Book Award in Poetry 

“Part protest lyric, part art book, Citizen is a dazzling expression of the painful double consciousness of black life in America.” —Michael Lindgren, The Washington Post

Claudia Rankine’s new book—“a precise, complex, clear-eyed, and masterful work of art” (Guernica)—recounts mounting racial aggressions in ongoing encounters in twenty-first-century daily life and in the media. Some of these encounters are slights, seemingly slips of the tongue, and some are intentional offensives in the classroom, at the supermarket, at home, on the tennis court with Serena Williams and the soccer field with Zinedine Zidane, online, on TV—everywhere, all the time. The accumulative stresses come to bear on a person’s ability to speak, perform, and stay alive. Our addressability is tied to the state of our belonging, Rankine argues, as are our assumptions and expectations of citizenship. In essay, image, and poetry, Citizen is a powerful testament to the individual and collective effects of racism in our contemporary, often named “post-race” society. “It is a swift and gripping read.” —Boston Review

© John Lucas

© John Lucas

Claudia Rankine is the author of four previous books, including Don’t Let Me Be Lonely: An American Lyric. She currently teaches at Pomona College.

Citizen has been adopted for First-Year Experience programs at:

Assumption College (MA); Art Institute of Chicago (IL); Bard College (NY); Brandeis University (MA); College of the Canyons (CA); Colorado College; Eckerd College (FL); Grand Valley State University (MI); Hobart and William Smith Colleges (NY); Howard University (DC); Keene State College (NH); LaGrange College (GA); Millsaps College (MS); Mount Holyoke College (MA); New York University Tisch School of the Arts; Northern Michigan University; Old Dominion University (VA); Pomona College (CA); Ramapo College (NJ); Rhodes College (TN); St. Cloud State University (MN); SUNY Cortland; University of Arizona, Tucson Honors College; University of Kansas; University of La Verne (CA); University of Nebraska Lincoln; Washington College (MD); Washington University in St. Louis (MO); Wesleyan University (CT)

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