Claudia Rankine

(1963 / Kingston, Jamaica / United State)

Claudia Rankine
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Claudia Rankine is an American poet and playwright born in 1963 and raised in Kingston, Jamaica and New York City. She has taught at Case Western Reserve University, Barnard College, University of Georgia, and in the writing program at the University of Houston. As of 2011, Rankine is the Henry G. Lee Professor of Poetry at Pomona College.
Educated at Williams College and Columbia University, Rankine's work has appeared in many journals, including the Southern Review, AGNI, the Kenyon Review, and anthologies including On the Verge and Step into a World: A Global Anthology of the New Black Literature (2000). She also co-edited (with Juliana Spahr) the anthology American Women Poets in ... more »

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Best Poem of Claudia Rankine

Don'T Let Me Be Lonely

There was a time I could say no one I knew well had died. This is not to suggest no one died. When I was eight my mother became pregnant. She went to the hospital to give birth and returned without the baby. Where's the baby? we asked. Did she shrug? She was the kind of woman who liked to shrug; deep within her was an everlasting shrug. That didn't seem like a death. The years went by and people only died on television—if they weren't Black, they were wearing black or were terminally ill. Then I returned home from school one day and saw my father sitting on the steps of our home. He had a look...

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