Rankine’s book-length work, subtitled An American Lyric, combines poetry and politics, essay and image, to create a searing inquiry into race in present-day America. At its heart is the intention to invoke in language all the ways trauma takes up residence in the body, amounting to a physical, as well as psychological or emotional, assault. Rankine achieves this by moving from the personal to the public, beginning with small, offhanded “microaggressions” before shifting to a more broadly defined territory of collective loss. Among other subjects, Rankine offers pointed meditations on Hurricane Katrina and the killings of young Black men such as Mark Duggan and Trayvon Martin. The result is a tour de force of both form and content, a book that resonates with fierce intensity.
AUTHOR CLAUDIA RANKINE IN CONVERSATION WITH JOHN FREEMAN
When: Thursday, April 20, 2023, 5 p.m. Pacific time.
Format: Freeman will lead a free hour-long conversation with Rankine, which will include a reading by her and questions from the audience. Produced by Alta Journal for streaming on Zoom.