MacArthur Fellow, Poet & Playwright Claudia Rankine

Artist Talk, Conversation, Lecture, Meet The Author, Performance, Presentation, University Scholars

MacArthur Fellow, Poet & Playwright Claudia Rankine

Thu, Mar 30, 2017 6:00 pm-7:00 pm 20 West Village F Free & Open to the Public
Artist Talk, Conversation, Lecture, Meet The Author, Performance, Presentation, University Scholars Thu, Mar 30, 2017
6:00 pm-7:00 pm 20 West Village F Free & Open to the Public

Join us for Art and the Making of “Citizen,” an evening with 2016 MacArthur Genius, Claudia Rankine. Widely considered to be one of our finest living poets, she is certainly the most prominent and politically engaged, creating an audience for poetry far beyond its conventional readership (her book Citizen holds the distinction of being the only poetry book to be a New York Times bestseller in the nonfiction category).

Claudia Rankine is using her $625,000 MacArthur Genius Grant to develop the Racial Imaginary Institute, a hybrid presenting space and think tank that will provide space for artists, writers, scholars and performers to research and explore how the structure of white supremacy influences American culture.

Her poetry imagines what the psychic ramifications of state and public power are for individuals living in our contemporary moment, exploring the loneliness that attends upon our post 9/11 politics of terror, surveillance, war and everyday racism. She has published several collections of poetry, including Citizen: An American Lyric (2014), a finalist for the National Book Award and winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry, the PEN Center USA Poetry Award, and the Forward poetry prize; Don’t Let Me Be Lonely: An American Lyric (2004); and Nothing in Nature is Private (1994), which won the Cleveland State Poetry Prize. Her work often crosses genres as it tracks wild and precise movements of mind.

The New Yorker: Claudia Rankine’s Home for the Radical Imaginary 1/19/17  

Presented by Northeastern University Scholars Seminar on Leadership, Research, and Innovation

Location

20 West Village F

40 Leon St
Boston, MA 02115

Claudia Rankine

2016 MacArthur Fellow, Poet, Playwright

Born in Jamaica in 1963, Claudia Rankine earned her BA in English from Williams College and her MFA in poetry from Columbia University.

She is the author of five collections of poetry: Citizen: An American Lyric (Graywolf Press, 2014), which received the 2014 National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry; Don’t Let Me Be Lonely: An American Lyric (Graywolf Press, 2004); PLOT (Grove Press, 2001); The End of the Alphabet (Grove Press, 1998); and Nothing in Nature is Private (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 1995), which received the Cleveland State Poetry Prize.

Rankine has edited numerous anthologies, including American Women Poets in the Twenty-First Century: Where Lyric Meets Language (Wesleyan University Press, 2002) and American Poets in the Twenty-First Century: The New Poetics (Wesleyan University Press, 2007). Her plays include Provenance of Beauty: A South Bronx Travelogue, commissioned by the Foundry Theatre and Existing Conditions, co-authored with Casey Llewellyn. She has also produced a number of videos in collaboration with John Lucas, including “Situation One.”

Of her book Don’t Let Me Be Lonely: An American Lyric, an experimental multi-genre project that blends poetry, essays, and images, poet Robert Creeley said: “Claudia Rankine here manages an extraordinary melding of means to effect the most articulate and moving testament to the bleak times we live in I’ve yet seen. It’s master work in every sense, and altogether her own.”

In 2013, Rankine was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. Mark Doty has praised her selection, saying: “Claudia Rankine’s formally inventive poems investigate many kinds of boundaries: the unsettled territory between poetry and prose, between the word and the visual image, between what it’s like to be a subject and the ways we’re defined from outside by skin color, economics, and global corporate culture. This fearless poet extends American poetry in invigorating new directions.”

Her honors include the Jackson Poetry Prize, as well as fellowships from the Lannan Foundation and the National Endowments for the Arts. In 2005, Rankine was awarded the Academy Fellowship for distinguished poetic achievement by the Academy of American Poets. In 2016, Rankine was awarded a MacArthur “Genius” Grant and named a United States Artists Zell fellow in literature. She is currently the Aerol Arnold Chair of English at the University of Southern California.