Claudia Rankine, an award-winning poet and past recipient of a MacArthur “Genius Grant,” will join the faculty at New York University as a Professor of Creative Writing.

Claudia Rankine
Award-winning poet Claudia Rankine (© John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation)

Claudia Rankine, an award-winning poet and past recipient of a MacArthur “Genius Grant,” will join the faculty at New York University as a Professor of Creative Writing.

Rankine is the author of several collections of poetry as well as the book-length poems Citizen: An American Lyric (Graywolf Press, 2014) and Don’t Let Me Be Lonely: An American Lyric (Graywolf Press, 2004), both New York Times best-selling volumes. Citizen won the National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry, the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work in Poetry, and the Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry and was named “Best Book of the Year” by the Boston Globe, the Los Angeles Times, the New Yorker, and NPR, among other outlets.

“Claudia Rankine—whose critique of racism in her award-winning poetry book Citizen electrified readers and critics alike—is one of the most important, essential, and influential writers of our time,” said Antonio Merlo, dean of NYU’s Faculty of Arts and Science. “She’ll be a brilliant addition to the Faculty of Arts and Science at NYU, where she'll join a distinguished group of internationally acclaimed writers in our Creative Writing Program. We are delighted to welcome her as our colleague.”

Rankine is currently Iseman Professor of Poetry at Yale University, where she has been since 2016. She will begin her tenure at NYU in the summer of 2021.

Her Just Us: An American Conversation, a volume of poems, essays, and images, was published in September by Graywolf Press.

Rankine’s other published works of poetry are Plot (Grove/Atlantic, 2001), The End of the Alphabet (Grove/Atlantic, 1998), and Nothing in Nature is Private (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 1994).

Rankine has written multiple plays, including HELP, The White Card, and Provenance of Beauty: A South Bronx Travelogue, and co-edited the following anthologies: American Poets in the 21st Century: Poetics of Social Engagement (Wesleyan University Press, 2017), with Wayne Dowdy; The Racial Imaginary (Fence Books, 2015), with Beth Loffreda and Max King Cap; American Women Poets in the Twenty-First Century, vol. II (Wesleyan University Press, 2012), with Lisa Sewell; American Poets in the Twenty-First Century: The New Poetics (Wesleyan University Press, 2007), with Lisa Sewell; and American Women Poets in the Twenty-First Century (Wesleyan University Press, 2002), with Juliana Spahr.

Rankine has also published numerous entries in anthologies and written articles for the New York Times (“The Meaning of Serena Williams: On Tennis and Black Excellence”), the New Yorker (“Adrienne Rich’s Poetic Transformations”), and the Guardian (“Our Sons Know They Could Be the Next Michael Brown. But They Should Never Surrender.”), among other publications.

She has complemented her written work with multiple film and video projects, all in collaboration with John Lucas; the most recent of which is their “Situation” series, which captures Rankine’s poetry in a multi-media format.

In addition to her MacArthur Foundation fellowship, Rankine has been awarded fellowships from the Academy of American Poets, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Lannan Foundation, and the Guggenheim Foundation. In 2013, she was elected as a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, and in 2014 she received a Lannan Literary Award.

Rankine has an MFA in poetry from Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree in literature from Williams College. She previously held professorships at the University of Southern California, Pomona College, the University of Houston, the University of Georgia, Barnard College, and Case Western Reserve University.

Editor’s Note:
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