Claudia Rankine is an oracle. Her poetry is beautiful, interrogative, and inventive, as seen in Don’t Let Me Be Lonely and Citizen (the American lyric we need for a path forward). Her consideration and public consciousness is nothing less than illuminating, and necessary in these dire times mercilessly lacking in empathy....more
Posts Tagged: Claudia Rankine
Patrick Madden teaches writing at Brigham Young University and is the author of the essay collection Quotidiana. His essays frequently appear in literary magazines and have been featured in The Best Creative Nonfiction and The Best American Spiritual Writing anthologies....more
For BuzzFeed Reader, Tamerra Griffin speaks with Claudia Rankine—author of Citizen and recipient of one of this year’s MacArthur Genius fellowships—about police violence, forms of protest, and how she would have woven these topics into her acclaimed book had she been writing it this year:
I would have added images around many of these protests that have happened.
Over at the University of Arizona’s Poetry Center blog, Suzi F. Garcia challenges the idea of poetry as a niche act of the elites by showing just how vital and contagious teaching a text like Citizen can be:
Move poetry outside of its context.
In a powerful essay at Electric Literature, Nicole Dennis-Benn writes on innocence as a privilege that is not afforded to black children:
Truth is, there is nothing parents can do. There is nothing black parents can do to protect their children and their children’s innocence.
In poetry words can say more than they mean and mean more than they say.
Over at the New Yorker, Claudia Rankine writes about the transformations Adrienne Rich underwent in search of ethics and the willful “I,” from the brief attempt at objectivity in her earliest poems to her refusal of the National Medal for the Arts, and the constant urgency and relevance to the here and now in her poetry....more
Saturday 12/5: Chelsea Hodson and Morgan Parker join the Segue series. Zinc Bar, 4:30 p.m., $5.
Monday 12/7: Athena Farrkhozad, Jennifer Nelson, Mary-Lan Tan, and Natalie Eilbert join the Hatchet Job reading series....more
If you want to know what the effect that book has had on me, that’s the effect. I don’t care if you think I’m an angry black woman. I don’t care if you think I’m making you feel uncomfortable. I feel better.
The American imagination has never been able to fully recover from its white-supremacist beginnings. Consequently, our laws and attitudes have been straining against the devaluation of the black body. Despite good intentions, the associations of blackness with inarticulate, bestial criminality persist beneath the appearance of white civility.
It’s that time of year again, where writers young and old, from all corners of the country, come to congregate in one gigantic, frenetic, neurotic, alcohol-infused crowd, in a couple of fancy hotels no one can really afford, to stay in and talk shop (or not, depending on how your writing’s been this year)....more
There’s the persistent seduction of collective amnesia, our desperate wanting to embrace a mythology that we’ve evolved. We want to erase the nightmarish truth that at one time, we were the kind of people who would inflict unspeakable cruelties to another human being…Rankine’s Citizen demands that we not look away.
Saturday 2/28: Tom McCarthy reads Satin Island, a novel about writing the Great Report. 192 Books, 7 p.m., free.
Sunday 3/1: Joanna Fuhrman, Shelley Marlow, and Elissa Ball celebrate new books by Fuhrman and Marlow....more
We will always fail each other. That goes without saying. The question is, what happens next? If failing is then countered with the question, “What’s wrong with you?”, then that’s a problem.