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Claudia Rankine Books In Order

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Publication Order of Poetry Collections

Nothing in Nature Is Private (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
The End of the Alphabet (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
Plot (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
Don’t Let Me Be Lonely: An American Lyric (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
Citizen: An American Lyric (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Plays

The White Card: A Play (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Publication Order of Anthologies

The New Young American Poets(2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
American Poets in the 21st Century: The New Poetics(2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
Eleven More American Women Poets in the 21st Century: Poetics Across North America(2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
The FunkWag from A to Z(2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Racial Imaginary(2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
What I Say(2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Forward Book of Poetry 2016(2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2015(2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Manifesto Project(2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
Nick Cave: Until(2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Image of Whiteness: Contemporary Photography and Racialization(2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
Bodies Built for Game(2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dawoud Bey: Two American Projects(2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
On Whiteness: The Racial Imaginary Institute(2022)Description / Buy at Amazon

About Claudia Rankine

An American playwright, essayist, and poet, Claudia Rankine is widely regarded and world renowned for her intelligent and incisive analysis. Looking at issues of race and society, she brings to light how people really function in modern America and what actually drives them. Her poetry and prose are famous for uncovering a number of deeper truths, shedding light on serious and important subject matter. Publishing several anthologies over the course of her literary career, her work has gone on to resonate with readers from all over the world.

Becoming a key figure within her field, her writing has gone to become internationally recognized, winning a number of awards in the process. In 2017 she would go on to establish ‘The Racial Imaginary Institute,’ which would work as a think-tank for writers and artists to study the social constructs of whiteness and race. Providing a ‘cultural laboratory,’ it would seek to contextualize ‘racial imaginaries,’ grounding them in attempt to fully understand them. Winning awards for her many different efforts, she has a public profile that is recognized worldwide both on and offline.

Her poetry has also struck a chord with many, as it’s lyrical in the way it flows across the page, drawing readers in. Through her prose she seeks to address the issues of race and society, grounding them and giving them a real sense of immediacy. Working on documentary pieces with her husband John Lucas as well, she’s no stranger to film either, making various different pieces for the screen. There’s a lot more to come in the future as well, with plenty more planned upon the horizon, as she isn’t finishing any time soon.

Early and Personal Life

Born in 1963 on the 4th of September, Claudia Rankine was born in Kingston, Jamaica, growing up with a keen interest in literature. Going on to study Williams College and then Columbia University, she would graduate with a BA and and MFA from the institutions. She would later go on to teach herself, teaching at Pomona College between the years of 2006 to 2015, before going on to lecture at Yale University as the Frederick Iseman Professor of Poetry there.

Elected as Chancellor for the Academy of American Poets in 2013, she’s gone on to become a key figure within her field. Working with other artists, she’s collaborated on a variety of different projects, making her voice heard and saying something powerful. Currently living in New Haven, Connecticut, she continues to write and work to this present day with much more to follow.

Writing Career

Making a name for herself, Claudia Rankine would write for a number of different journals, including GRANTA, Harper’s, and the Kenyon Review. Editing and co-editing various anthologies too, such as ‘American Poets in the 21st Century, she’s a much needed voice within her area. Investigating the line between poetry and prose, she’s constantly finding new ways of expressing herself and her ideas.

Starting out with her collection ‘Nothing in Nature is Private,’ she would release her first title back in 1994. She would also go on to release other collections, such as ‘Don’t Let Me Be Lonely: An American Lyric’ in 2004 as well. Over time she’s also won awards, such as multiple National Book Critics awards, an NAACP Image Award, and a MacArthur Fellowship just to name a few.

Citizen: An American Lyric

Initially published by ‘Graywolf Press’ in 2014 on the 7th of October, this would consist of a single poem running for the duration of the entire book. It would be an entirely stand-alone title with seven chapters in total, fast becoming a ‘New York Times’ bestselling novel. Marked as one of the greatest literary works of the 2010s by the ‘Literary Hub’ contributors, it would be well received by the critics and the general public alike.

Primarily covering racial aggressions during the course of the twentieth century, this provides an overview to those wanting to understand the issue in greater detail. A book-length poem, this consists of seven chapters overall, complete with images and artworks interspersed throughout. Looking at topics such as micro-aggressions, she also analyzes fictional YouTube figures such as Hennessy Youngman, created by Jayson Musson. Arguing the case that society’s assumptions about citizenship are rooted in stereotypes, it looks at what supposedly creates a ‘post-race’ society.

A powerful piece of work, this really stands out as a benchmark of its genre and the form as a whole, really giving it a sense of immediacy. Timely and necessary, it speaks to a wider truth, voicing concerns of race and what it means in America in modern times. Easy to read, this book moves along with its simple to follow pace that really grabs the reader and holds them there for the duration.

Just Us: An American Conversation

Originally coming out in 2020 on the 8th of September, this would be published through the ‘Graywolf Press’ publishing outlet once again. Met with critical acclaim once again, it would be a non-fiction title comprised of numerous essays and poems from Claudia Rankine. Countless reviewers would sing her many praises, with it also becoming another bestseller, both nationally and internationally.

Dealing with others, this book takes an in-depth look at Rankine’s various different encounters with the ignorance of others. Discussing topics and subject matter that she doesn’t feel are touched upon enough, brings to light various different injustices. Through essays and poems, she seeks to understand what it is that will keep people together in the room communicating with one another. Looking at day-to-day interactions, she casts a greater light on real racial issues facing American society today.

Another powerful testament of the reality of day-to-day racial injustices, this really does work at taking a deeper dive into modern America. Feeling both grounded and intimate, while also speaking to wider truths, the book really does encompass the true scope of the issue. The language is once again poetic, flowing across the page almost effortlessly, sweeping the reader up as it moves along, capturing a world of ideas and communicating them with simplicity and ease.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Claudia Rankine

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