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Diversity & Inclusion: Citizen: An American Lyric

Book Discussions

Four discussions will be held. Come to as many as you like - no two discussions are the same.

START HERE - Want to talk about race but don't know where to start? Claudia Rankine's book explores facets of race and racism in America. Join us! [Note: this discussion will focus on the book's themes, not on poetry as a form.]

  • Wednesday, 11/2/16, noon-1:00 pm, Glatfelter Lodge
  • Wednesday, 11/2/16, 7:00-8:30 pm, Glatfelter Lodge

DIG DEEPER - Ready to explore more? These discussions will go a little deeper into how race intersects with other elements of identity for American citizens. We encourage readers to draw connections between Citizen and other texts (including the two titles already read as part of #GBCTalks).

  • Monday, 11/14/16, noon-1:00 pm, Glatfelter Lodge
  • Monday, 11/14/16, 5:00-6:30 pm, Glatfelter Lodge


  • An additional "dig deeper" opportunity will be available on Thursday, 12/1/16, 12-1 in Glatfelter Lodge. This is not a book discussion but a lecture by a campus visitor. More detail is forthcoming.

Borrow This Book

Questions to Consider

Citizen: An American Lyric Reading Guide

This reading guide from Grand Valley State University includes:

  • questions to consider before you read
  • discussion questions by chapter
  • resources to consult after reading
  • additional resources to help you dig deeper into Rankine's references

About the Author

Claudia Rankine is the author of five collections of poetry including Citizen: An American Lyric and Don’t Let Me Be Lonely; two plays including Provenance of Beauty: A South Bronx Travelogue; numerous video collaborations, and is the editor of several anthologies including The Racial Imaginary: Writers on Race in the Life of the Mind. For her book Citizen, Rankine won both the PEN Open Book Award and the PEN Literary Award, the NAACP Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry (Citizen was the first book ever to be named a finalist in both the poetry and criticism categories); and was a finalist for the National Book Award. Citizen also holds the distinction of being the only poetry book to be a New York Times bestseller in the nonfiction category. Among her numerous awards and honors, Rankine is the recipient of the Poets & Writers’ Jackson Poetry Prize and fellowships from the Lannan Foundation and the National Endowment of the Arts. She lives in California and teaches at Yale University as the Frederick Iseman Professor of Poetry.

In 2016, Rankine was awarded the MacArthur Fellowship (commonly referred to as "the genius grant").

More about Rankine:

Watch and Listen - More About Poet Claudia Rankine