Read: Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine
Claudia Rankine’s wide range of works, including poetry, plays, and videos focus on racism in America. Citizen: An American Lyric is a book length poem that uses short lyrical verses and relative media to approach everyday encounters of racism. The use of repetitive language and direct mentions of current day incidents makes reading this book feel fundamental for understanding race issues within today’s society.
Claudia Rankine’s Citizen was a:
Finalist for the 2014 National Book Award in Poetry
Winner of the 2014 National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry
Finalist for the 2014 National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism
Winner of the 2015 PEN Open Book Award
Winner of the 2015 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award in Poetry
A New York Times Best Seller
From the Publisher:
Claudia Rankine’s bold recounts mounting racial aggressions in ongoing encounters in twenty-first-century daily life and in the media. Some of these encounters are slights, seemingly slips of the tongue, and some are intentional offensives in the classroom, at the supermarket, at home, on the tennis court with Serena Williams and the soccer field with Zinedine Zidane, online, on TV—everywhere, all the time. The accumulative stresses come to bear on a person’s ability to speak, perform, and stay alive. Our addressability is tied to the state of our belonging, Rankine argues, as are our assumptions and expectations of citizenship. In essay, image, and poetry, Citizen is a powerful testament to the individual and collective effects of racism in our contemporary, often named “post-race” society.
Citizen was published in 2014, but the powerful message of the work continues to be as relevant as ever.
Rankine also has a new book that came out in 2020 that we are excited to get our hands on called Just Us: An American Conversation.
Watch: Your Name Engraved Herein on Netflix
Based in 1987, as martial law ends in Taiwan, two high school boys, Jia-han and Birdy, fall in love amid family pressures, homophobia and social stigma. This is Taiwan’s Most Popular LGBTQ+ Film and it is actually based on filmmaker Kuang-Hui Liu’s own personal experiences coming of age in the 1980s. In an interview with TIME, the director talked about how his intention wasn’t to make a gay film, but to make a personal film. He says, “This is about my first love, and my first love happened to be a story of a boy liking another boy.” The emotional film includes a lot of Taiwan’s political history, but the story of young lovers takes on the universal trials and tribulations of queerness.
Listen To: Arlo Parks
Check out her Track by Track with NME where she talks about the creation and inspiration of each song above!
Anaïs Oluwatoyin Estelle Marinho is Arlo Parks, a British singer-songwriter and poet. The twenty-year-old just released her debut studio album Collapsed in Sunbeams through Transgressive Records last month and let’s just say we’re big fans. Her music can be described as indie-pop, R&B, and lo-fi, but she grabs inspo from a range of musicians from Radiohead to Portishead, and Sufjan Stevens to Solange. The deluxe edition of the album even includes covers of Phoebe Bridgers, Clairo, and Frank Ocean songs.
Her career has not been long but it has been strong from the start. In 2018, she gained attention with her debut single “Cola” and she continues to deliver the openness and intimacy fans love with her songwriting. Collapsed in Sunbeams includes songs about mental health, self love, and queerness.