MacArthur Fellow, Poet & Playwright Claudia Rankine
Join us for 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.