Claudia Rankine is a poet, essayist, and playwright. She is the author of five collections of poetry including the acclaimed Citizen: An American Lyric, Don't Let Me Be Lonely, and Just Us; three plays including The White Card; numerous video collaborations; and editor of several anthologies including The Racial Imaginary: Writers on Race in the Life of the Mind.
For her book Citizen: An American Lyric, Rankine won both the PEN Open Book Award and the PEN Literary Award, the NAACP Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry (Citizen was the first book ever to be named a finalist in both the poetry and criticism categories); and was a finalist for the National Book Award. Citizen also holds the distinction of being the only poetry book to be a New York Times bestseller in the nonfiction category.
Her other awards and honors include a Lannan Literary Award for Poetry, the Poets & Writers’ Jackson Poetry Prize, a MacArthur Fellowship, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment of the Arts.
In 2017, Rankine founded The Racial Imaginary Institute (TRII), an interdisciplinary collective, using funds from her MacArthur Fellowship. She is the Frederick Iseman Professor of Poetry at Yale University.