Claudia Rankine

This year's Free Thinking Lecture is given by the American poet Claudia Rankine. Her book 'Citizen: An American Lyric' is a New York Times best seller and has become an instant classic. At one of the most volatile moments in American race history, her meditations on the language used to describe tennis star Serena Williams and on events such as the Ferguson riots and the shooting of the teenager Trayvon Martin in Florida provide the vehicle for an incisive interrogation of justice and injustice, exposing the myth of a 'post-racial' 21st century.

A professor of English at the University of Southern California and a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, Claudia Rankine grew up first in Kingston Jamaica and then New York City and has also lived in England. 'Citizen' has been called 'the book of a generation' and one which 'throws a Molotov cocktail' at the idea that the struggle against racial injustice has been won.

The winner of this year's Forward Prize for Poetry, the PEN Open Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award comes to Sage Gateshead to talk to Free Thinking presenter Matthew Sweet about the power of language and what it means to be black in the new millennium.

Recorded in front of an audience at the Free Thinking Festival at Sage Gateshead.

Release date:

Available now

59 minutes

Last on

Fri 6 Nov 2015 22:00


Role Contributor
Interviewed GuestClaudia Rankine
PresenterMatthew Sweet
ProducerZahid Warley

Featured in...

CLICK to LISTEN & SEE all programmes from the Free Thinking Festival 2018: The One and the Many

Free Thinking Festival

This year we examine the fast-changing relationship between the individual and the crowd.

CLICK to LISTEN & SEE all programmes, images, clips & features from 2017's festival

CLICK to LISTEN & SEE all programmes, images, clips & features from this year's festival

Free Thinking Festival 2017: The Speed of Life

The Arts and Ideas Podcast

Arts and Ideas

You can download all the past episodes of Radio 3's Free Thinking