As part of the 2016-17 Worldwise Arts and Humanities Dean's Lecture Series, the College of Arts and Humanities at the University of Maryland, College Park presented award-winning poet and recent MacArthur fellowship recipient Claudia Rankine in conversation with Sheri Parks on the role of public education, specifically art, in the making of American democracy. The event combined a poetry reading from Rankine's New York Times bestseller "Citizen: An American Lyric," and a discussion in which the two engaged audience members on themes related to race, art and citizen making.
Poet Claudia Rankine is the author of five collections of poetry and last week received a MacArthur fellowship. Her acclaimed 2014 book “Citizen: An American Lyric,” explores everyday racism in the lives of black Americans and is the first poetry collection to become a New York Times best-seller for nonfiction. "Citizen" won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for poetry, the PEN Open Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry and the 2015 Forward Prize for Best Collection. Rankine is the Frederick Iseman Professor of Poetry at Yale University.