Cover image for Citizen : an American lyric
Title:
Citizen : an American lyric
Author:
Rankine, Claudia, 1963- , author.
Publication Information:
Minneapolis, Minnesota : Graywolf Press, [2014]

©2014
Physical Description:
169 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 21 cm
Summary:
"Claudia Rankine's bold new book 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"--From publisher's description.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781555976903
Format :
Book

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On Order

Summary

Summary

A provocative meditation on race, Claudia Rankine's long-awaited follow up to her groundbreaking book Don't Let Me Be Lonely: An American Lyric

Claudia Rankine's bold new book 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.


Author Notes

Claudia Rankine was born in Jamaica in 1963. She received a B.A. in English from Williams College and a M.F.A. in poetry from Columbia University. She is the author of several collections of poetry including Don't Let Me Be Lonely, Plot, and The End of the Alphabet. Nothing in Nature is Private won the Cleveland State Poetry Prize and Citizen: An American Lyric won the 2015 Forward Prize for Best Collection. She has edited numerous anthologies including American Women Poets in the Twenty-First Century: Where Lyric Meets Language and American Poets in the Twenty-First Century: The New Poetics. She is currently the Henry G. Lee Professor of English at Pomona College. She won a 2015 Forward Prize for Poetry which carried a monetary award of $21,570.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Rankine, winner of the Jackson Poetry Prize and chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, is playwright and essayist as well as poet, and all three forms are present in her second, galvanizing American Lyric, following Don't Let Me Be Lonely (2004). In prose poems and poetic essays as sharp and stinging as a surprise slap to the face, Rankine matter-of-factly chronicles ordinary encounters poisoned by racism. Thoughtless and reflexive remarks and responses, such as a white therapist reacting with fear and aggression when a black client appears at her door. She also addresses, with fresh insights and precision, the adversities facing tennis star Serena Williams, presents a piece titled Frisk and Search, and offers deeply resonant tributes to those felled by racial violence, including Trayvon Martin. In poems of solitary reflection, despair, and conviction, the speaker considers the eloquence of sighs and rejects the directive, Let it go. Accompanied by evocative images, Rankine's arrestingly forthright, emotionally authentic, and artistically lithe inquiry induces us to question and protest every racial assault against our individual and collective humanity.--Seaman, Donna Copyright 2014 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

Starred Review. In this trenchant new work about racism in the 21st century, Rankine, recently appointed chancellor of the American Academy of Poets and winner of the 2014 Jackson Poetry Prize, extends the innovative formal techniques and painfully clear-sighted vision she established in her landmark Don't Let Me Be Lonely. Accounts of racially charged interactions, insidious and flagrant, transpiring in private and in the public eye, distill the immediate emotional intensity of individual experience with tremendous precision while allowing ambiguity, ambivalence, contradiction, and exhaustion to remain in all their fraught complexity. Combining poetry, essay, and images from media and contemporary art, Rankine's poetics capture the urgency of her subject matter. Indeed, much of the book focuses on language: sound bites from cultural commentators; the words of acquaintances, colleagues, and friends; responses and moments of silence; what it means to address and be addressed; and what it means when one's only recourse is to sigh. "A body translates its you-/ you there, hey you,"¿ she writes, "The worst hurt is feeling you don't belong so much/ to you."¿ Once again Rankine inspires sympathy and outrage, but most of all a will to take a deep look at ourselves and our society. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal Review

Longlisted for the 2014 National Book Award in poetry, this follow up to Don't Let Me Be Lonely: An American Lyric brings together essays, images, and poems on the stress of citizenship in a deeply racist country. (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


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