The Penguin Modern Poets are succinct, collectible, lovingly-assembled guides to the richness and diversity of contemporary poetry, from the UK, America and beyond. Every volume brings together representative selections from the work of three poets now writing, allowing the seasoned poetry lover and the curious reader alike to encounter our most exciting new voices.
Volume 6, Dark Looks, features the work of Maggie Nelson and Claudia Rankine, the two American poets who, in hybrid books bridging the divide between poetry, lyric prose, life-writing and theory such as Bluets, The Argonauts, Don't Let Me Be Lonely and Citizen, have transformed the literary landscape over the last 15 years, alongside that of Denise Riley, who for decades has been exploring closely related concerns - motherhood; identity and oppression; loss; the language and words that build, or assault, our selves - as one of the best-kept secrets of British poetry, now fittingly recognized by a string of shortlistings and awards. These are writers who combine deep thought with deep feeling to illuminate our world, how we suffer in it, how we resist it, and how we can live with and love it.
The award-winning poet's powerful exploration of an America ever more unable to process its own toxins
Here, available for the first time in the UK, is the book in which Claudia Rankine first developed the 'American Lyric' form which makes her Forward Prize-winning collection Citizen so distinctive: an original combination of poetry, lyric essay, photography and visual art, virtuosically deployed. Don't Let Me Be Lonely is Rankine's meditation on the self bewildered by race riots, terrorism, medicated depression and television's ubiquitous influence. Written in the years after 9/11, this is an unflinching and deeply felt meditation on life and death in a nation in flux.
WINNER OF THE FORWARD PRIZE FOR BEST COLLECTION 2015
WINNER OF THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FOR POETRY 2015
WINNER OF THE PEN OPEN BOOK AWARD 2015
WINNER OF THE LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK PRIZE FOR POETRY 2015
'Everywhere were flashes, a siren sounding and a stretched-out roar. Get on the ground. Get on the ground now. Then I just knew.
'And you are not the guy and still you fit the description because there is only one guy who is always the guy fitting the description.'
In this moving, critical and fiercely intelligent collection of prose poems, Claudia Rankine examines the experience of race and racism in Western society through sharp vignettes of everyday discrimination and prejudice, and longer meditations on the violence - whether linguistic or physical - which has impacted the lives of Serena Williams, Zinedine Zidane, Mark Duggan and others.
Citizen weaves essays, images and poetry together to form a powerful testament to the individual and collective effects of racism in an ostensibly 'post-race' society.
Claudia Rankine is the author of five books, including Don't Let Me Be Lonely: An American Lyric and the bestselling Citizen: An American Lyric. A chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, she is the winner of many prizes including the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry and a 2016 MacArthur Fellowship. She is an adjunct professor of English and African-American Studies at Yale University, and has previously taught at Pomona College and the University of Southern California.