a collection of reviews gathered by Shawna Ervin

Posted by on Jun 11, 2016 in Bookclub, Poetry, Racial Concerns | No Comments

Hi, book group folks!

I hope you are all having a wonderful summer! I’m looking forward to seeing all of you again soon.

We will meet again on Sunday, August 7, from 4 to 6 pm. Please see our private member pages on Meetup for the address and directions to our gathering space.

In August we will read Citizen by Claudia Rankine. My favorite word for this strong writing is that it is pungent. This book may not have many pages, but is one that will stay with me for some time.


Citizen An American Lyric 1

 * Finalist for the National Book Award in Poetry *

* Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry *

* Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism *

* Winner of the NAACP Image Award *

* Winner of the L.A. Times Book Prize *

* Winner of the PEN Open Book Award *

Rather than gushing over the book myself, here are some snippets of reviews.   –  Shawna


“Marrying prose, poetry, and the visual image, Citizen investigates the ways in which racism pervades daily American social and cultural life, rendering certain of its citizens politically invisible. Rankine’s formally inventive book challenges our notion that citizenship is only a legal designation that the state determines by expanding that definition to include a larger understanding of civic belonging and identity, built out of cross-racial empathy, communal responsibility, and a deeply shared commitment to equality.” ―National Book Award Judges’ Citation

“So groundbreaking is Rankine’s work that it’s almost impossible to describe; suffice it to say that this is a poem that reads like an essay (or the other way around) – a piece of writing that invents a new form for itself, incorporating pictures, slogans, social commentary and the most piercing and affecting revelations to evoke the intersection of inner and outer life.” ―Los Angeles Times

Citizen is audacious in form. But what is perhaps especially striking about the book is that it has achieved something that eludes much modern poetry: urgency.” ―The New York Times

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