The fifth nominated work for the National Book Critics Circle Award for poetry is Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine. It is as different from the other nominated works as they are from themselves.
Perhaps the most striking difference is that most of the poems in Citizen are prose poems, and they are generally untitled. As such, they assume the character of small stories with large themes – one large theme, actually, better described as one story with running scenes illustrating the theme. And that theme is what it means to an African-American in contemporary America.
The poems of Citizen are not easy poems to read.
To continue reading, please see my post today at Tweetspeak Poetry.