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Visiting Professor Given Genius Grant

Claudia Rankine received a prestigious MacArthur Fellowship.

The “Genius Grant,” as it’s known, is a $625,000 award with no strings attached.

Rankine is a visiting professor serving as our 2016–2017 Roy and Shirley Durst Distinguished Chair in Literature. 

“Rankine is crafting critical texts that are proving to be essential for understanding American life while also enriching the craft of poetry with a new sense of agency and urgency,” writes the MacArthur Foundation.

She is the author of five collections of poetry. Her most recent book, Citizen: An American Lyric (2014), won among many other awards, the National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry, the PEN Open Book Award, the NAACP Image Award, and the LA Times Book Award for poetry. Rankine is the Frederick Iseman Professor of Poetry at Yale University.

Of the 2016 MacArthur winners, the Foundation says, “While our communities, our nation, and our world face both historic and emerging challenges, these 23 extraordinary individuals give us ample reason for hope. They are breaking new ground in areas of public concern, in the arts, and in the sciences, often in unexpected ways. Their creativity, dedication, and impact inspire us all,” says MacArthur President Julia Stasch.