Slide background

Renowned Poet Claudia Rankine to Lecture at Millsaps College

by Web on January 24, 2017

Update: Due to travel difficulties, Claudia Rankine will not be in Jackson for Millsaps College’s Friday Forum on February 10. All events developed around Rankine’s visit will continue as planned. We are working with Rankine’s agent to find another time this spring for her to visit campus.

In her place a panel will feature an exciting group of scholars and writers, including Ebony Lumumba, chair and assistant professor of English at Tougaloo College; C. Liegh McInnis, poet, fiction writer, and instructor of English at Jackson State University; and Katy Simpson Smith, author of The Story of Land and Sea and Free Men. Our panelists will introduce and share some of their favorite passages from Rankine's book Citizen and answer questions from the audience. This event will take place at 1pm in the Academic Complex Recital Hall.

Rankine will read from her acclaimed work Citizen, which was the 2016 summer reading assignment for first-year Millsaps students. She will also reflect on the implications of her work, and the humanities, in general, for civic life.

Rankine is the author of five collections of poetry, including Citizen: An American Lyric and Don’t Let Me Be Lonely; two plays, including Provenance of Beauty: A South Bronx Travelogue; numerous video collaborations, and is the editor of several anthologies, including The Racial Imaginary: Writers on Race in the Life of the Mind. For Citizen, Rankine won the Forward Prize for Poetry, the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry (Citizen was also nominated in the criticism category, making it the first book in the award’s history to be a double nominee), the Los Angeles Times Book Award, the PEN Open Book Award, and the NAACP Image Award. 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. Among her numerous awards and honors, Rankine is the recipient of the Poets & Writers Jackson Poetry Prize and fellowships from the Lannan Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Rankine’s lecture will be the culmination of a two-day conference titled “This Is How You Are a Citizen: Humanities and Civic Life.” Hosted on the Millsaps campus, the conference is presented by Millsaps in partnership with Tougaloo College, the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation, Hope Enterprise Corporation, Jackson 2000, the Margaret Walker Center, Jackson State University, the Eudora Welty Foundation, Parents for Public Schools of Jackson, and the Jackson Association of Black Journalists. Learn more about the schedule of conference activities.

Mississippi Humanities CouncilThis project was made possible by a grant from the Mississippi Humanities Council, through support from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities or the Mississippi Humanities Council.

This project is supported in part by funding from the Mississippi Arts Commission, a state agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.