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Poet Claudia Rankine to Read at Susquehanna

SELINSGROVE— Poet Claudia Rankine will read from her work as part of the 2009–10 Visiting Writers Series, sponsored by The Writers Institute at Susquehanna University. The reading will be held Oct. 22 at 7:30 p.m. in the university’s Isaacs Auditorium in Seibert Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

Rankine is the author of four collections of poetry, including “Don’t Let Me Be Lonely” (Graywolf, 2004), “PLOT” (Grove Press, 2001), “The End of the Alphabet” (Grove Press, 1998), and “Nothing in Nature Is Private” (Cleveland Poetry Center, 1995), which received the Cleveland State Poetry Prize. She received the 2004 Academy of American Poets fellowship and co-edited “American Women Poets in the 21st Century: Where Lyric Meets Language” (Wesleyan University Press, 2002).  

Her latest book, “Don’t Let Me Be Lonely,” is an experimental multi-genre project blending poetry, essays and image. Of this book, renowned poet Robert Creeley said, "Claudia Rankine here manages an extraordinary melding of means to effect the most articulate and moving testament to the bleak times we live in I’ve yet seen. It’s a master work in every sense, and altogether her own."
Poet Luise Glück said, “Claudia Rankine has made of her savage and stern intelligence, her ruthlessness and her terror, great art.”

A native of Jamaica, Rankine earned her bachelor’s degree from Williams College and her master of fine arts degree in poetry from Columbia University. Her work has been published in numerous journals, including Boston Review, TriQuarterly, and The Poetry Project Newsletter. Her poetry also is featured in several anthologies, including “Great American Prose Poems: From Poe to the Present,” “Best American Poetry 2001,” “Giant Step: African American Writing at the Crossroads of the Century,” and “The Garden Thrives: Twentieth Century African-American Poetry.” She has taught at Barnard College, the Iowa Writer's Workshop and the University of Houston. Currently, Porter lives in California, where she is a professor of English at Pomona College.

Claudia Rankine is the second of six writers scheduled to read at Susquehanna during the 2009–10 school year. Books by Rankine will be available for purchase and signing following the reading. The next reading will be given by Fleda Brown, author of “Breathing In, Breathing Out” and “Reunion,” on Nov. 9 at 7:30 p.m. in Seibert Hall’s Isaacs Auditorium.

For more information about programs sponsored by the Writers Institute and upcoming events, please visit www.susqu.edu/writers.

Founded in 1858, Susquehanna University is a national liberal arts college that prepares students for achievement, leadership and service in a diverse, interconnected world.  Academic excellence, study away and service learning, student-faculty collaboration, and rich opportunities for creative and personal growth are hallmarks of a Susquehanna University education.  Susquehanna students come from 36 states and 12 countries, and more than 90 percent of them find jobs or pursue graduate study within six months of graduation.  The university is located in central Pennsylvania, in the town of Selinsgrove, along the banks of the scenic Susquehanna River and about three hours from major East Coast cultural, financial and recreational centers.  For more information, visit www.susqu.edu


Karen M. Jones



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