Don't Let Me Be Lonely: An American Lyric Award Winner

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September 1, 2004
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In this powerful sequence of TV images and essay, Claudia Rankine explores the personal and political unrest of our volatile new century

"I forget things too. It makes me sad. Or it makes"
"me the saddest. The sadness is not really about"
"George W. or our American optimism; the"
"sadness lives in the recognition that a life can"
"not matter."

The award-winning poet Claudia Rankine, well known for her experimental multigenre writing, fuses the lyric, the essay, and the visual in this politically and morally fierce examination of solitude in the rapacious and media-driven assault on selfhood that is contemporary America. With wit and intelligence, Rankine strives toward an unprecedented clarity-of thought, imagination, and sentence-making-while arguing that recognition of others is the only salvation for ourselves, our art, and our government.

"Don't Let Me Be Lonely" is an important new confrontation with our culture, with a voice at its heart bewildered by its inadequacy in the face of race riots, terrorist attacks, medicated depression, and the antagonism of the television that won't leave us alone.


Claudia Rankine is the author of three collections of poetry: Nothing in Nature Is Private, The End of the Alphabet, and Plot. She teaches at the University of Georgia.


Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize

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