Up Next – Claudia Rankine

Jamaican-born poet, editor, and anthologist Claudia Rankine reads in the New Writing Series on Wednesday, March 25, 2009, at 8pm in Little Hall 130 on the flagship campus of the University of Maine in Orono. The event, which is cosponsored by the Honors College in conjunction with Honors 180: A Cultural Odyssey, is free and open to the public, though seating is limited.

Whether writing about intimacy or alienation, Claudia Rankine’s voice is one of unflinching and unrelenting candor, and her poetry is some of the most innovative and thoughtful to emerge in recent years. Born in Kingston, Jamaica, and educated at Williams College and Columbia University, Rankine is the author of four collections of poetry, including the award-winning Nothing in Nature is Private. In The End of the Alphabet and Plot, she welds the cerebral and the spiritual, the sensual and the grotesque. Her latest book, Don’t Let Me Be Lonely—an experimental multi-genre project that blends poetry, essays, and image—is an experimental and deeply personal exploration of the condition of fragmented selfhood in contemporary America. Of this book, poet Robert Creeley said: “Claudia Rankine here manages an extraordinary melding of means to effect the most articulate and moving testament to the bleak times we live in I’ve yet seen. It’s master work in every sense, and altogether her own.”

Rankine co-edited the anthology American Women Poets in the 21st Century: Where Lyric Meets Language, and her work is included in several anthologies, including Great American Prose Poems: From Poe to the Present, Best American Poetry 2001, Giant Step: African American Writing at the Crossroads of the Century, and The Garden Thrives: Twentieth Century African-American Poetry. Her work has been published in numerous journals including Boston Review, TriQuarterly, and The Poetry Project Newsletter. She lives and teaches in California.

If you have a disability that may require accommodation for this event, please contact Ann Smith in the office of Disability Support Service, 121 East Annex, 581-2319 (Voice) or 581-2311 (TDD).

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