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Claudia Rankine to Visit Campus Sept. 10-11

  • Claudia Rankine.
    Claudia Rankine.
September 10, 2015
Rankine’s latest book, Citizen: An American Lyric, was the first-year read assigned to members of the Class of 2019. In a public event September 10, she will read from her work and discuss the themes of race and identity she explores so powerfully and honestly in her writing.

CHESTERTOWN, MD—Poet Claudia Rankine, whose powerful book on racial identity and racism, Citizen: An American Lyric, was the assigned first-year read for new students at Washington College, will visit campus September 10 and 11 to speak, read from her work, and talk to writing students. Her main reading and lecture takes place on Thursday, September 10 at 4:30 p.m. in Decker Theatre, Gibson Center for the Arts on the College campus, and is free and open to the public. 

Citizen, which won the 2014 National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry and was a finalist for the National Book Award, also holds the distinction of being the only poetry book ever listed as a New York Times bestseller in the nonfiction category.  The prose and prose poems in Citizen respond to the racial violence reflected in newspaper headlines, chronicles the kinds of degrading slights of racism that black Americans experience in everyday life, and explores how race defines Serena Williams’s image. (Rankine’s article on the tennis star, “The Meaning of Serena Williams,” was the cover story of the August 30 issue of the  New York Times Magazine.) Writer Hilton Als described Citizen as “the best note in the wrong song that is America.” 

Rankine’s earlier books are Don’t Let Me Be Lonely; Plot; The End of the Alphabet; and Nothing in Nature is Private. She alsoco-edited the anthologies The Racial Imaginary and American Women Poets in the 21st Century.  A native of Jamaica and a graduate of Williams College and Columbia University, she serves as a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and teaches at Pomona College.  

Rankine’s visit is sponsored by the Dean’s Office, the Sophie Kerr Committee, and the Black Studies Program. 

Below, the cover of The New York Times Magazine with Rankine’s article on Serena Williams. 


Last modified on Sep. 8th, 2015 at 11:48am by .