The Racial Imaginary: Writers on Race in the Life of the Mind

The Racial Imaginary Writers on Race in the Life of the Mind To think of creativity in terms of transcendence is itself specific and partial a lovely dream perhaps but an inhuman one It is not only white writers who make a prize of transcendence of course Man

  • Title: The Racial Imaginary: Writers on Race in the Life of the Mind
  • Author: Claudia Rankine Beth Loffreda
  • ISBN: 9781934200797
  • Page: 361
  • Format: Paperback
  • To think of creativity in terms of transcendence is itself specific and partial a lovely dream perhaps, but an inhuman one It is not only white writers who make a prize of transcendence, of course Many writers of all backgrounds see the imagination as ahistorical, as a generative place where race doesn t and shouldn t enter, a place of bodies that transcend the legislat To think of creativity in terms of transcendence is itself specific and partial a lovely dream perhaps, but an inhuman one It is not only white writers who make a prize of transcendence, of course Many writers of all backgrounds see the imagination as ahistorical, as a generative place where race doesn t and shouldn t enter, a place of bodies that transcend the legislative, the economic in other words, transcend the stuff that doesn t lend itself much poetry In this view the imagination is postracial, a posthistorical and postpolitical utopia To bring up race for these writers is to inch close to the anxious space of affirmative action, the scarring qualifieds So everyone is here Claudia Rankine and Beth Loffreda, from the introductionIn 2011, a poem published in a national magazine by a popular white male poet made use of a black female body A conversation ensued, and ended Claudia Rankine subsequently created Open Letter, a web forum for writers to relate the effects and affects of racial difference and to explore art s failure, thus far, to adequately imagine.Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Claudia Rankine is author and editor of than six collections of poetry and poetics She is a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and a professor of English at Pomona College.Beth Loffreda is author of Losing Matt Shepard Life and Politics in the Aftermath of Anti gay Murder She directs the MFA program in creative writing at the University of Wyoming.

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    About “Claudia Rankine Beth Loffreda

    • Claudia Rankine Beth Loffreda

      Claudia Rankine is an American poet and playwright born in 1963 and raised in Kingston, Jamaica and New York City She has taught at Case Western Reserve University, Barnard College, University of Georgia, and in the writing program at the University of Houston As of 2011, Rankine is the Henry G Lee Professor of Poetry at Pomona College.

    498 thoughts on “The Racial Imaginary: Writers on Race in the Life of the Mind

    • [Note (after writing)--my reviews are also reflections, with forays more personal in context than perhaps what a review typically intends. My objective, generally, is to respond to the work from my experience. I've tried to designate and distinguish the reflecting from the reviewing, after the fact, but it doesn't separate so cleanly.]~(Reflecting) I think this reading experience, for me, is beyond that of the book's scope itself--the project of writing race, (identity, other or self) that it ta [...]


    • Read this for the Stony Brook MFA faculty's book club, and am so glad I did. Without providing answers (a smarter book than that), this collection of essays raises a multitude of questions about race and the way we live in the world as writers of all colors, and it is no bullshit great. So looking forward to talking this book over with my colleagues.


    • I'm interested in the topics tackled in this anthology: how writers address fraught subjects, how to engage in discussions about race, how to write well about and across racial differences. In these essays, writers (mostly poets) reveal how race impacts (or doesn't) their work and their careers. The wide range of viewpoints and approaches make this a great anthology to read, study, and contemplate. The book itself is beautifully designed and includes artwork selected for its relevance to the top [...]



    • This should be required reading; a diverse group of poets and writers discuss how race is approached or avoided in our work, in our lives, and the areas where they intersect. Among many other topics and branches of the discussion of race, I particularly appreciated a frank look at "whiteness" and how it manifests, erases, or frames so many interactions and expectations, and what we can do to move away from the "whiteness-as-default" mindset in writing and in life; not to mention how to think abo [...]


    • A thought-provoking collection of diverse forms--open letters, visual art, essays, and poems--from a wide range of contributors exploring the ways in which implicit racial bias and overt lived experiences of racial oppression or privilege variously influence and shape the writer, the educator, the reader, and the student. This book is an illuminating and indispensable work on the subject of race in the literary imagination, one that demonstrates the undeniable impact of how race works on the sub [...]


    • This was an interesting collection to read and look through (includes photos of different types of art as well as letters and essays)--all in response to an open letter/questions by poet Claudia Rankine on writing and race. I found many of the responses in the book thought-provoking, although many of them were way too stuck inside the stultifying language confines of 'academese'--and thus, not so broadly accessible.


    • This book is worth picking up just for the introduction, which is incredibly clear-eyed about writing and race - I would unhesitatingly recommend it to any literary writer.The quality of the pieces in the anthology vary (which is normal and as an editor of an anthology I feel I can say this is normal), as do the form, but there's lots of good food for thought and meaningful reflection.


    • A thoughtful, provocative, essential collection of essays and art that address how writers might/can/should approach questions of race. The collection is wide-ranging (and even contradictory) by design. Claudia Rankine, Beth Loffreda, and Max King Cap have done all of us a great favor with this book.


    • While I didn't have time to deeply read this, the good chunk of entries (essays? blog posts? some are more 'free-form' than others) I did read were thought-provoking and worth my time. The art! Get this just so you have an excuse to look at some great contemporary art that investigates questions of race.


    • Jericho Brown, from his text Love the Masters:Poets whose work supports the status quo often fail to acknowledge that their poems are just as political as poets whose work questions it.I think this book is incredibly important and everyone should read it


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