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Claudia Rankine Receives National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry

Claudia Rankine receives the National Books Critics Circle Award for Poetry

Jamaican poet Claudia Rankine won the 2014 National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry. Rankine’s collection Citizen: An American Lyric, published by Graywolf, made history when the finalists were announced earlier this year as the first book to receive nominations in two categories (poetry and criticism).

The National Book Critics Circle Awards for Publishing Year 2014 were announced at The New School in New York, last night, March 12, 2015.

“In “Citizen,” Rankine maps the uneasiness and charged space of living race now, miraculously breaking racism’s intractability down into human-sized installations, accounts of relationships and examples of speech,” said a release put forward by the NBCC on this year’s winners.

The other winners announced during last night’s ceremony included awards for fiction, general non-fiction and autobiography. Marilynne Robinson added another NBCC award to her mantle by copping the fiction prize for Lila (Farrar, Straus & Giroux). Her earlier novel Gilead (2004).

Rob Chast received the award for autobiography for Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant, published by Bloomsbury, while the biography prize was claimed by John Lahr for Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimmage of the Flesh

Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison received Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award for her roles as writer, editor, cultural critic and advocate of the power of writing. 

“As a frequent public spokesperson for freedom of expression, the power of the written word, and the role of the artist, Toni Morrison has articulated a vision of the role of the writer that is both courageous and inspiring,” the release said.

Full List of Winners:

Autobiography 
Roz Chast, Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? (Bloomsbury)

Biography
John Lahr, Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh (W.W. Norton & Co.)

Criticism
Ellen Willis, The Essential Ellen Willis, edited by Nona Willis Aronowitz (University of Minnesota Press)

Fiction 
Marilynne Robinson, Lila (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Nonfiction
David Brion Davis, The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Emancipation (Alfred A. Knopf)

Poetry
Claudia Rankine, Citizen: An American Lyric (Graywolf Press)

NONA BALAKIAN CITATION FOR EXCELLENCE IN REVIEWING
Alexandra Schwartz

IVAN SANDROF LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Toni Morrison

JOHN LEONARD PRIZE
Phil Klay, Redeployment (Penguin Press)