Nonprofit literary organization Poets & Writers revealed that Claudia Rankine has been awarded the 2014 Jackson Poetry Prize. The prize, which comes with $50,000, is awarded annually to an American poet of "exceptional talent who deserves wider recognition." She was selected as the eighth winner of the prize by a panel of judges that included the poets Tracy K. Smith, David St. John, and Mark Strand.
"The moral vision of Claudia Rankine's poetry is astounding," said the judges. "In a body of work that pushes the boundaries of the contemporary lyric, Rankine has managed to make space for meditation and vigorous debate upon some of the most relevant and troubling social themes of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries."
Born in Kingston, Jamaica, and educated at Williams College and Columbia University, Rankine is the author of the collections Don't Let Me be Lonely, and Plot. Her newest collection, Citizen: An American Lyric, will be released by Graywolf later this year.
Poets & Writers will host a reading and reception in Rankine's honor on June 9 in New York City.