The End of the Alphabet: Poems

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Open Road + Grove/Atlantic, Dec 1, 2007 - Poetry - 113 pages
A “harrowing and hallucinogenic” collection of poems from author of the New York Times–bestselling National Book Award-finalist Citizen: An American Lyric (Library Journal).
Claudia Rankine’s book-length poem about rising racial tensions in America, Citizen: An American Lyric, won numerous prizes, including the The National Book Critic’s Circle Award. Her new collection of poems—intrepid, obsessive, and erotic—tell the story of a woman’s attempt to reconcile herself to her own despair.
Drawing on voices from Jane Eyre to Lady MacBeth, Rankine welds the cerebral and the spiritual, the sensual and the grotesque. Whether writing about intimacy or alienation, what remains long after is her singular voice—its beguiling cadence and vivid physicality. There is an unprotected quality to this writing, as if each word has been pushed out along the precipice, daring us to go with it. Rankine’s power lies in the intoxicating pull of that dare.
From one of contemporary poetry’s most powerful and provocative authors, The End of the Alphabet is a work where “wits at once keen and tenacious match themselves against grief’s genius” (Boston Review).

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The end of the alphabet

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This second collection from the Jamaican-born Rankine marks a decided aesthetic departure from her first (Nothing in Nature Is Private, Cleveland State Univ., 1995), which was a candid, lyrical ... Read full review

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About the author (2007)

Claudia Rankine was born in Jamaica in 1963. She received a B.A. in English from Williams College and a M.F.A. in poetry from Columbia University. She is the author of several collections of poetry including Don't Let Me Be Lonely, Plot, and The End of the Alphabet. Nothing in Nature is Private won the Cleveland State Poetry Prize and Citizen: An American Lyric won the 2015 Forward Prize for Best Collection. She has edited numerous anthologies including American Women Poets in the Twenty-First Century: Where Lyric Meets Language and American Poets in the Twenty-First Century: The New Poetics. She is currently the Henry G. Lee Professor of English at Pomona College. She won a 2015 Forward Prize for Poetry which carried a monetary award of $21,570.

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