Book Club - Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine

Tuesday, February 24, 2015 - 11:00am to 12:00pm
UA Poetry Center 1508 E. Helen Street Tucson, AZ 85721

Citizen requires the reader to enter that realm: the realm of being privileged in an otherwise deprived society; of relaxing while watching others work; this antiquated idea of modern civilization. Of an encounter as eyewitness to the experience of victimization. Of pure helplessness while knowing you have an aid to offer. In Rankine’s world, we, as audience, are both the spectacle and the representation. We are both the protagonist and the antagonist. We are both the eyewitness and the victim, the armchair and the television. […] Here the accumulation of spectacles requisites first an acknowledgement of the individual as citizen, as Rankine bears witness: “your friend refuses to carry what doesn’t belong to her.” She teaches us that in this situation, we are both the you and the friend. She teaches us that to be a citizen means to embrace the agonizing struggle of the self in society.”—Shaelyn Smith, The Rumpus

This book club discussion will be led by Poetry Center Events Marketing Director Annie Guthrie. Our book club is free and open to the public; if you would like to participate, just show up!