This year’s Big Read features Claudia Rankine’s Citizen. Here’s a brief introduction by Charlotte Gullick, department chair of creative writing.
Citizen: An American Lyric is an-award winning, cross-genre book and is selected for Austin Community College’s Big Read programming for Spring 2018. The New Yorker describes the work: “The poet Claudia Rankine’s new volume, her fifth, is “Citizen: An American Lyric” (Graywolf), a book-length poem about race and the imagination. Rankine has called it an attempt to “pull the lyric back into its realities.” Those realities include the acts of everyday racism—remarks, glances, implied judgments—that flourish in an environment where more explicit acts of discrimination have been outlawed. ‘Citizen,’ which has been short-listed for the National Book Award, suggests that a contemporary “American lyric” is a weave of artfully juxtaposed intensities, a quarrel within form about form.”
Are you interested in a more in-depth discussion with colleagues about Citizen? Would you enjoy sharing your time and expertise with our community?
I’m looking for five professors to participate in a mini-seminar on Rankine’s Citizen and share their thoughts and reflections with community groups as readers engage with this text. You will receive a modest stipend ($200) to thank you for your time, and you’ll commit to read Citizen, participate in a two-hour faculty seminar early next spring semester, and lead at least two group discussions in April (most likely off campus, e.g., at local coffee shops, Foundation Communities, etc.).