[My iPad refused to quote from the review, but the MAC air was happy to, so I’m sharing a bit.]
“Citizen: an American Lyric” has been short-listed for the National Book Award, and it is recently reviewed in the New Yorker. It is, the review says, especially important in this time, where injustices occur while the illusion of justice is perfected. One could hardly say the society she experiences is post-racial.
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.
The review points out that its genre is hard to pin down. It reminded me startingly of the blog, What is it like to be a woman in philosophy. One might, of course, worry about what is not explicit about killing an unarmed young black man, but we can get their meaning.
Another word for what Rankine is exposing is “microagressions.” Readers might find the following blog interesting: