ANN ARBOR – The University of Michigan Institute for Social Research (ISR) presents award-winning poet and 2016 MacArthur Fellow Claudia Rankine on January 16 at 4 p.m. in Rackham Auditorium. In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Rankine will speak about her bestselling book Citizen: An American Lyric.
In Citizen, Rankine uses poetry, essay, cultural criticism and visual images to explore what it means to be a black American in a “post-racial” society. Citizen was the winner of the 2015 Forward Prize for Best Collection, the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry, the NAACP Image Award for poetry, the PEN Open Book Award and the LA Times Book Award for poetry. It also holds the distinction of being the only poetry book to be a New York Times best seller in the nonfiction category.
Rankine is the author of five collections of poetry and two plays and the editor of several anthologies. She also co-produces a video series, “The Situation,” with John Lucas and is the founder of the Open Letter Project: Race and the Creative Imagination. She is the Frederick Iseman Professor of Poetry at Yale University. Rankine’s numerous awards and honors include the Poets & Writers’ Jackson Poetry Prize and fellowships from the Lannan Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.
The January 16 talk will be followed by a book signing. Books will be available for purchase from Bookbound. The event is co-sponsored by the Institute for the Humanities.
On January 17, Rankine will also present her recent work on American racism at 10 a.m. in ISR Room 1430 at 426 Thompson St. in Ann Arbor. Her talk will be followed by a cross-disciplinary discussion on American racism and the scholar-activist.
By Kory Zhao