Read. Listen. Discuss.

Join the citywide conversation about race, social justice, and Claudia Rankine's Citizen: An American Lyric

Rankine uses Citizen to talk candidly about racism today, from outright brutality to incidents so subtle "you begin to distrust that they even happened," Rankine writes. "And yet you know that you feel bad somehow." 

What can we learn from the experiences presented in Citizen? How can we use what we learn to create a more inclusive and accepting community?

Lighthouse Writers Workshop, the City & County of Denver, and NEA Big Read want Denver-area residents to read the book and start talking. Free copies of Citizen are being distributed throughout the city, and metro-area public libraries will have print, e-book, and audio editions as well as book club kits available. 

Find a book talk, art event, community gathering or activity to join, and don't miss Rankine's free talk with Mayor Michael B. Hancock at Boettcher Concert Hall, November 15. 

Upcoming Events

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October 13, 2017

Part One: Art Making in Response to Citizen: An American Lyric
Lighthouse Writers Workshop, Free


November 15, 2017

Denver Talks: Mayor Michael B. Hancock in Conversation with Claudia Rankine
Boettcher Concert Hall, Free
Click here to register.


November 16, 2017

Student Discussion with Mayor Michael B. Hancock and Claudia Rankine
Tivoli Turnhalle, Auraria Campus, Free

About the Book

Claudia Rankine's Citizen looks at racism today, from everyday slights in the classroom and at the supermarket to police shootings nationwide to incidents involving public figures like Serena Williams and Zinedine Zidane. Using a blend of essay, image, and poetry, Rankine thoughtfully examines how these stresses accumulate—impacting the behavior, morale, and potential of individuals and communities. 

Citizen is the winner of the 2015 PEN Oakland-Josephine Miles Literary Award, the 2015 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award in Poetry, the 2015 Forward Prize for Best Collection, the 2015 PEN Open Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry, and the Poets & Writers' Jackson Poetry Prize. It was named a best book of 2015 by the Atlantic, the Guardian, NPR, and more. 


About NEA Big Read

Denver Talks is one of 75 NEA Big Read grant recipients for 2017-2018. NEA Big Read aims to inspire conversation and discovery through good books, broadening our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves. 

NEA Big Read programs like Denver Talks include a kickoff event, activities involving the book and its themes, book discussions, and arts events. Denver Talks will also include a free on-stage conversation between Claudia Rankine, the author of Citizen, and Mayor Michael B. Hancock. 

For more on NEA Big Read, click here.


Denver Talks is a project of: 

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