Claudia Rankine

Poetry

Interviewed by: Angela Elam

Catalog Number(s): 20200605, 20161014, 20160226

Interview Year(s): 2015

2016 MacArthur “Genius” and a 2017 Guggenheim Fellow, Claudia Rankine discusses her fifth poetry book, Citizen: An American Lyric. This multi-award-winning work features poetry and prose along with art, ranging from contemporary pieces and William Turner’s paintings of The Slave Ship and talks about her collaboration with her filmmaker husband, John Lucas. Woven throughout the conversation, as with the events portrayed in her books, is a discussion of micro-aggressions against black individuals and women. Rankine describes her creative writing process while a 2015 guest of Rockhurst University’s Midwest Poets Series. The White Card is her 2019 play that grew out of Citizen. To hear early work, listen to a 2008 interview by New Letters editor Robert Stewart.

(Photo by John Lucas CC BY-SA 3.0)