Visiting Assitant Professor of Creative Writing and African American Literary Arts
Camille Rankine is the daughter of Jamaican immigrants. Her first full-length collection of poetry, Incorrect Merciful Impulses, was published in 2016 by Copper Canyon Press. She is also the author of Slow Dance with Trip Wire, selected by Cornelius Eady for the Poetry Society of America's 2010 New York Chapbook Fellowship. The recipient of a 2010 "Discovery"/Boston Review Poetry Prize, she was featured as an emerging poet in the April 2011 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine, and as one of Brooklyn Magazine’s top 100 cultural influencers of 2017. Her poetry has appeared in The Baffler, Boston Review, Denver Quarterly, Gulf Coast, jubilat, Octopus Magazine, A Public Space, The New York Times, Tin House, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of fellowships from The MacDowell Colony and the National Endowment for the Arts, was named an Honorary Cave Canem Fellow in 2012, and was a finalist for the Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship in 2014. A graduate of Harvard University and Columbia University’s School of the Arts, she has taught creative writing at Columbia University, University of Massachusetts Amherst, New York University, and Brown University. She serves as chair of the board of VIDA: Women in Literary Art, and president of the board of The Poetry Project.
What makes a voice universal? How does identity color our reading or alter our expectations of a poem? How does a poet's identity inform their poetic approach? In this course, we'll shift our focus from poetry to poet, text to context, and back, as we explore how the poet's identity operates both within their work and outside of it. Through class discussion and readings of poetry and essays, we'll approach questions of permission and permissibility, responsibility, appropriation and re-appropriation, and the identity poetics and politics at play in the evolving landscape of contemporary American poetry.