Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine
National Book Critics Circle Award (Poetry), 2014
PEN Center USA Poetry Award , 2014
LA Times Book Award in Poetry, 2015
NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work in Poetry, 2015
Forward Prizes for Poetry Best Collection, 2015
Citizen is a collection of poetry, photo essays, and traditional short essays revolving around the theme of American racism. Plain and simple, Rankine calls out the current social and political state of racial affairs in a way that is both raw and relevant.
The imagery on the cover is actually an art installation by David Hammons that was made in 1993; however, it is still remarkably and tragically still relevant twenty years later, and alludes to the horrific murder of Trayvon Martin in 2012.
This collection is just one of many that, to me, will transcend time and unfortunately remain relevant as long as racism is tolerated and instigated. This collection truly shows how powerful words and images are.