Wed 1/23 @ 7PM
Writer Claudia Rankine’s work has covered a wide span of genres: she’s a poet, an essayist, a journalist and a playwright. In 2014, she released her book-length poem, Citizen: An American Lyric to enormous acclaim, winning numerous awards, including the National Book Critics Circle Award, the NAACP Image Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Award and the Forward Prize, among others. Citizen was also the only poetry book to make The New York Times nonfiction bestseller list. And she was a 2016 MacArthur fellow; she currently a professor at Yale.
What was all the excitement about? Citizen broke genre boundaries in many different directions. Its seven chapters, interspersed with images of artworks and other graphics, commented on public and private incidents and their meaning, with an emphasis on societal and personal racism. She talks about everything from how tennis star Serena Williams has been the target of racially motivated treatment throughout her career to the “stand your ground” killing of Trayvon Martin to the racial fault lines exposed by Hurricane Katrina to the impact of microaggressions, each chapter written in with a somewhat different approach. It’s a rich, complex work that has been described as criticism as well as poetry.
Rankine will be speaking at the Parma-Snow branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library, in conversation with Ohio poet laureate Dave Lucas. Her books will be available for purchase and signing courtesy of Mac’s Backs in Coventry Village.
The event is free, but you should register here.