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Graywolf Press
160 pages • $20.00
ISBN: 9781555976903
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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 

“Rankine defies genre and writes honestly and relentlessly about being black in modern America. This book is necessary in every sense of the word.”

—Roxane Gay, Esquire

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, seeming 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.

© 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 more than thirty 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); Gateway Community College; Grand Valley State University (MI); Green River College (WA); 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;  Troy University (AL); University of Arizona, Tucson Honors College; University of Kansas; University of La Verne (CA); University of Nebraska Lincoln; Utica College (NY); Washington College (MD); Washington University in St. Louis (MO); Wesleyan University (CT)

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