Honored poet to speak at Transylvania University's Kenan Lecture

Claudia Rankine's five poetry collections include
Claudia Rankine's five poetry collections include "Citizen: An American Lyric." | Contributed photo
Renowned poet, playwright and essayist Claudia Rankine will deliver Transylvania University's 2016 Kenan Lecture at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 29 in Haggin Auditorium.

Rankine's five poetry collections include "Citizen: An American Lyric" -- the only collection to make the New York Times bestseller list in the non-fiction category. The book has won many honors, including the 2014 National Book Critics Circle Award.

During the free lecture, Rankine will discuss writing the book, her creative imagination and issues race. 

"This collection of lyrical essays or poetic prose bears witness to the experience of everyday encounters with racism," Transylvania professor Jeremy Paden said. "It moves in and through the feelings and thought processes of the person trying to understand the experience of these injustices. 'Citizen' names and narrates these experiences. And in reading and listening to the poems, in learning from them, our world is enlarged."

The Kenan Lecture Series is funded by a grant from the William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust. Past speakers include Robert F. Kennedy Jr., actress Mary McDonnell, CNN analyst Peter Bergen, and President of Ireland Mary Robinson.

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