Award-winning Poet Claudia Rankine to read at Cornell

By: Lynn Lauper ,  Cornell University Department of English
Sun, 04/07/2019

Award-winning poet and writer Claudia Rankine will read from her work for the Robert Chasen Memorial Poetry Reading on April 18 at 5 p.m. in the Alice Statler Auditorium, Statler Hall. The event will have free admission with ticket and is open to the public. Tickets are available at Willard Straight Hall Resource Center (4th/main floor) now and while supplies last. On April 18, doors will open at 4:30 p.m. for seating and books by the author will be available for purchase courtesy of Buffalo Street Books. This reading, which will conclude the Spring 2019 Barbara & David Zalaznick Reading Series, is sponsored by the Creative Writing Program of Cornell’s English Department. 

Rankine’s work is broadly accessible; a New York Times review of her bestselling book Citizen lauds her ability to make “racism relevant, or even evident, to those who do not bear the brunt of its ill effects.”

“Rankine has produced a collection, centered on her lived experience as a Black woman, that resonates with readers for whom that experience is not always prevalent,” said Helena María Viramontes, director of the Creative Writing Program. “Politics aside, she also pushes the boundaries and development of the genre with her multidisciplinary approach to creation.”

Rankine is the author of 5 collections of poetry including Citizen and Don’t Let Me Be Lonely; two plays, numerous video collaborations and is the editor of several anthologies. Citizen was the winner of the 2015 Forward Prize for Best Collection, the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry (it was also a finalist in the criticism category, making it the first book in the award’s history to be a double nominee), the NAACP Image Award, the PEN Open Book Award, and the LA Times Book Award for poetry 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.

Her numerous awards and honors include the 2016 MacArthur Fellowship, the Poets & Writers’ Jackson Poetry Prize, and fellowships from the Lannan Foundation and the National Endowment of the Arts. Born in Kingston, Jamaica, she now lives in California and teaches at Yale University as the Frederick Iseman Professor of Poetry.

Worried about parking? TCAT bus route 10 Commons-Cornell loop leaves Seneca Street station every 12 minutes on Thursday afternoons until 6:08 p.m. and stops outside Klarman/Goldwin Smith halls. After 6:08 p.m., Route 10 runs every 24 minutes. Last trip from campus to downtown is at 7:51 p.m. The cash fare for a single ride is $1.50.

American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation will be provided for this reading. The venue is wheelchair accessible and equipped with assistive listening technology. If you need additional accommodations to participate in this event, please contact us as soon as possible. 

Visit english.cornell.edu/zalaznick, email creativewriting@cornell.edu, or call 607-255-7847 for reading information. Call Willard Straight Hall Resource Center, 607-255-3450, for ticket information.


   Claudia Rankine headshot