Claudia Rankine


Claudia Rankine is the author of six collections of poetry, including Just Us: An American Conversation, Citizen: An American Lyric and Don’t Let Me Be Lonely; three plays including HELP, which premiered in March of 2020 at The Shed, NYC, The White Card, which premiered in February 2018 (ArtsEmerson/ American Repertory Theater) and was published by Graywolf Press in 2019, and Provenance of Beauty: A South Bronx Travelogue; as well as numerous video collaborations. She is also the co-editor of several anthologies including The Racial Imaginary: Writers on Race in the Life of the Mind (FENCE, 2015). In 2016, she co-founded The Racial Imaginary Institute (TRII). Among her numerous awards and honors, Rankine is the recipient of the Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry, the Poets & Writers’ Jackson Poetry Prize, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Lannan Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, United States Artists, and the National Endowment of the Arts. Rankine teaches at Yale University as the Frederick Iseman Professor of Poetry. She lives in New Haven, Connecticut. Source

Ways to Disappear

In the dark

Down a stairwell

Through the doorway

Gone west

With a new wish

In daylight

Down the sidewalk

In a wool coat

In a white dress

Without a name

Without asking

On your knees

On your stomach

Gone silent

In the backseat

In the courtroom

In a cage

In the desert

In the park

Gone swimming

On the shortest night

At the bottom of the lake

In pieces

In pictures

Without meaning

Without a face

Seeking refuge

In a new land

Gone still

In the heart

With your head bowed

In deference

In sickness

In surrender 

With your hands up

On the sidewalk

In the daylight

In the dark





Literary Movements:


Anthology Years:



Doubt & Fear

Poetic Form

Racial Injustice


Literary Devices:


the repetition of the same letter or sound at the beginning of words appearing in succession


a figure of speech in which words repeat at the beginning of successive clauses, phrases, or sentences


the expression of one's meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite, typically for humorous or emphatic effect