On Our Minds
"Citizen" Wins National Book Critics Circle Award
Poet Claudia Rankine's masterful poetry collection, "Citizen: An American Lyric" has won the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award for poetry. In it, she tells stories of racially fraught encounters, from everyday micro-aggressions to openly hostile encounters with police. It paints a portrait of the indignities African Americans often face.
Citizen challenges readers to grapple with their own preconceptions about race. Much of the book is ambiguously written, forcing readers to consider their own attitudes to the injustices or the racial assumptions they ascribe to them.
In her interview with To the Best of Our Knowledge, Rankine says, “You often hear people say, ‘You know, I don’t think about race. I see people.” Rankin says. “So I wanted people to read these pieces and see their own minds place one body in a black body or a brown body, [and] place another body in a white body.”