Jamaican-American poet Claudia Rankine wins National Book Critics Circle Award

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 A post by Peter Jordens.

Jamaican-American poet Claudia Rankine has won the 2014 National Book Critics Circle (NBCC) Award for Poetry with her book Citizen: An American Lyric (Graywolf Press, 2014). Citizen was also a finalist in the criticism category, making it the first book in the award’s history to be a double nominee. The winners were announced during an evening ceremony at the New School’s Tishman Auditorium in New York City.

“In Citizen, Rankine maps the uneasiness and charged space of living race now, miraculously breaking racism’s intractability down into human-sized installations, accounts of relationships and examples of speech,” said a release put forward by the NBCC on this year’s winners.

Jeffrey Shotts, Executive Editor at Graywolf Press, attended the ceremony. “Claudia Rankine’s double nomination for the National Book Critics Circle Awards was historic,” he said. “That her book, Citizen, has gone on to win one of them is remarkable. Citizen is becoming that truly unique kind of book: a defining text for our time. Graywolf is immensely proud to be Claudia’s publisher, and to celebrate the achievement that this award represents.”

Through poetry, essay, cultural criticism, and visual images, Claudia Rankine explores what it means to be an American citizen in a “post-racial” society. Citizen was published in October 2014 to wide acclaim, and went on to be a National Book Award finalist, a New York Times best seller, and an NAACP Image Award winner. The New Yorker, Boston Globe, The Atlantic, NPR, Los Angeles Times, Slate, and many other publications named Citizen one of the best books of the year.

Claudia Rankine was born in Jamaica in 1963 and moved with her family to New York when she was 7. She currently serves as chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and teaches at Pomona College in California.

Sources: http://www.susumba.com/books/news/claudia-rankine-receives-national-book-critics-circle-award-poetry and https://www.graywolfpress.org/news/congratulations-claudia-rankine-wins-national-book-critics-circle-award-poetry

For more about the award-winning book, go to https://www.graywolfpress.org/books/citizen or

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/29/books/claudia-rankine-on-citizen-and-racial-politics.html (review).

For more about Claudia Rankine, visit http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/claudia-rankine and

http://www.pomona.edu/news/2015/03/12-rankine-nbcc.aspx.

Also see our previous post Poet Claudia Rankine: ‘Racism works purely on perception’ in America.

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