Mondays, January 25 – February 29, 2016 6:30 – 8:30pm
“…one meaning of here is ‘in this world, in this life, on earth. In this place or position, indicating the presence of,’ or in other words, I am here. It also means to hand something to somebody—Here you are. Here, he said to her.”— Claudia Rankine, Don’t Let Me Be Lonely: An American Lyric
“The brightest memory,” writes Rankine in Citizen: An American Lyric, “fades faster than the dullest ink.” Over six weeks together, participants will read and discuss Rankine’s two most recent works, Citizen and Don’t Let Me Be Lonely, both presented through the frame of “An American Lyric.” From the pointlessness of worry to the ache of isolation, dislocation, and erasure, Rankine’s lyric challenges readers to more deeply engage with our experiences and with each other. Together we’ll explore how correspondence, conversation, introspection, and reportage work together to create a new lyrical form and how our own interaction with that form might offer new ways to more fully participate in our lives.
Note: Tuition includes a ticket to see Rankine’s Portland Arts & Lectures presentation on Thursday, February 25, 2016 at 7:30pm at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall.
Guide: Samiya Bashir is the author of Gospel and Where the Apple Falls. Recent issues of Poetry, Ecotone, World Literature Today, Poet Lore, Eleven Eleven, Cascadia Review, Hoax, The Normal School, and others house her newest poems. She holds a BA from the University of California, where she served as Poet Laureate, an MFA from the University of Michigan, where her poetry garnered two Hopwood Awards, and has won numerous fellowships, grants, and honors for her work. She teaches creative writing at Reed College