Title: Citizen: An American Lyric
Author: RANKINE CLAUDIA
Publication date: 26/08/2015
Publishing status: Active
In this moving, critical and fiercely intelligent collection of prose poems, Claudia Rankine examines the experience of race and racism in Western society through sharp vignettes of everyday discrimination and prejudice, and longer meditations on the violence – whether linguistic or physical – which has impacted the lives of Serena Williams, Zinedine Zidane, Mark Duggan and others.
Awarded the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry in America after becoming the first book in the prize’s history to be a finalist in both the poetry and criticism categories, Citizen weaves essays, images and poetry together to form a powerful testament to the individual and collective effects of racism in our ostensibly ‘post-race’ society.
‘Everywhere were flashes, a siren sounding and a stretched-out roar. Get on the ground. Get on the ground now. Then I just knew. And you are not the guy and still you fit the description because there is only one guy who is always the guy fitting the description.’
‘Wonderfully capacious and innovative. In her riffs on the demotic, in her layering of incident, Rankine finds a new way of writing about race in America.’ Nick Laird, New York Review of Books
‘Citizen feels raw . . . this documentary-style look at America has catapulted Rankine into the spotlight . . . She speaks to the vastly different ways racism and injustice are perpetuated across class lines in America today.’ Smitha Khorana, Guardian
‘Rankine brilliantly pushes poetry’s forms . . . one is left with a mix of emotions that linger and wend themselves into the subconscious.’ Holly Bass, The New York Times
‘Requires us to think of poetry anew.’ David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times
Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry
Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Poetry