University of Pittsburgh
September 2, 2008

Pitt Opens 2008-09 Contemporary Writers Series With Reading by Renowned Poet Claudia Rankine

Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-Poet Claudia Rankine will open the 2008-09 Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series season with a literary reading at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 12, in the Frick Fine Arts Auditorium, 650 Schenley Dr., Oakland.

Rankine is the author of the poetry collections "Don't Let Me Be Lonely: An American Lyric" (Graywolf Press, 2004); "PLOT" (Grove Press, 2001); "The End of the Alphabet" (Grove Press, 1998); and "Nothing in Nature Is Private" (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 1995), which received the Cleveland State Poetry Prize. Rankine also is a coeditor of "American Women Poets in the Twenty First Century" (Wesleyan University Press, 2002).

Her work has been published in numerous literary journals including "Boston Review," "TriQuarterly," and "The Poetry Project Newsletter". Her poetry also has been featured in such anthologies as "Great American Prose Poems: From Poe to the Present" (Scribner Book Company, 2003), "Best American Poetry 2001" (Scribner Book Company, 2001), and "The Garden Thrives: Twentieth Century African-American Poetry" (Harper Collins, 1996).

Born in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1963, Rankine earned a BA in English at Williams College and her MFA in poetry at Columbia University. She has taught at Case Western Reserve University, Barnard College, the University of Georgia, Pomona College, and the University of Houston.

The 2008-09 Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series season is cosponsored by Pitt's University Center for International Studies, Asian Studies Center, China Council Confucious Institute, Cultural Studies Program, Women's Studies Program, and Book Center and by the Carnegie Mellon University Creative Writing Program.

All events in the Writers Series are free and open to the public. For more information, contact Nicole Wolinsky at, Jeff Oaks at, or visit