Photos of Claudia Rankine and Carrie Mae Weems

Poets Aloud

Carrie Mae Weems & Claudia Rankine

MacArthur Foundation fellows Claudia Rankine and Carrie Mae Weems are featured together as part of our free Poets Aloud series, in partnership with the Center for African American Poetry and Poetics of the University of Pittsburgh. Rankine won the National Book Critics Circle Award for her New York Times bestselling book of poetry, Citizen: An American Lyric. Visual artist Weems is represented in museums including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; the Museum of Modern Art, NY; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; and The Tate Modern, London. Join us for a presentation from both Claudia Rankine and Carrie Mae Weems, followed by discussion between the two artists.

About Carrie Mae Weems

Through photography and video, Carrie Mae Weems has created a complex body of art that investigates family relationships, gender roles, racism, classism, and politics. Although Weems addresses a wide array of issues, in all the work her overarching commitment is to help us better understand our present moment by examining our collective past.

Weems, a MacArthur grant recipient, is represented in public and private collections around the world including the Metropolitan Museum of Art; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. She has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions at major national and international museums including the Whitney Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Solomon Guggenheim Museum.

“One of the more interesting artists working in the gap between art and politics.”


About Claudia Rankine

Claudia Rankine is the author of five collections of poetry, including Citizen: An American Lyric and Don’t Let Me Be Lonely; two plays including Provenance of Beauty: A South Bronx Travelogue; numerous video collaborations, and is the editor of several anthologies including The Racial Imaginary: Writers on Race in the Life of the Mind. For Citizen, Rankine won the Forward Prize for Poetry, the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry, the Los Angeles Times Book Award, the PEN Open Book Award, and the NAACP Image Award. A finalist for the National Book Award, Citizen also holds the distinction of being the only poetry book to be a New York Times bestseller in the nonfiction category.

Among her numerous awards and honors, Rankine is the recipient of the Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry, 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. She is a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and teaches at Yale University as the Frederick Iseman Professor of Poetry.

“Claudia Rankine delivers a spondee like a gut punch. Stressed monosyllables sound in pairs throughout Citizen like gongs of a Greek tragedy—ominous and riveting.”



Bookstore Partner

Books will be available for sale from our local bookseller Classic Lines.


Thursday, March 21, 2019 at 7 p.m.


Free Event
Pre-registration is closed, but walk-up registration is welcome between 6 and 7 p.m. at the Lecture Hall on Thursday, March 21st.


Carnegie Library Lecture Hall
4400 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, 15213


Upcoming Lectures

Anna Monardo

MAY 23

Liann Tsoukas and Rob Ruck

JUN 20

Colm Toibin

SEP 16

Pico Iyer

SEP 30