Poet Claudia Rankine's latest examines being black in America

'Citizen' by Claudia Rankine
'Citizen' by Claudia Rankine
Book cover courtesy of publisher

Poet Claudia Rankine is, to quote one reviewer, a "literary rock star."

Her latest book, "Citizen: An American Lyric," was a finalist for the National Book Award and has been nominated for National Book Critics Circle Awards in both the categories of poetry and criticism.

The book, which is published by Twin Cities' Graywolf Press, combines essays and poetry with photographs and visual art.

It's a compelling examination of what it means to be black in America today, considering everything from how Serena Williams is treated on the tennis court, to the handling of Hurricane Katrina, to the growing number of young black men killed by cops.

Perhaps most compelling are Rankine's vignettes detailing numerous instances of racism experienced by herself, friends and colleagues.

Rankine was in town this past week for a seminar at St. Benedict's and we air part of her discussion on The Daily Circuit.

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