Citizen: An American Lyric is a 2014 book-length poem and a series of lyric essays by American poet Claudia Rankine. Citizen stretches the conventions of traditional lyric poetry by interweaving several forms of text and media into a collective portrait of racial relations in the United States. The book ranked as a New York Times Bestseller in 2015 and won several awards, including the 2014 National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry, the 2015 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work in Poetry, and the 2015 Forward Prize for Poetry Best Collection.
In her critique of racism and visibility, Rankine details the quotidian microaggressions African-Americans face, discusses controversial incidents such as backlashes against tennis player Serena Williams, and inquires about the ramifications of the shootings of Trayvon Martin and James Craig Anderson. She intersperses her writing with images of various paintings, drawings, sculptures, and other digital media to “render visible the black experience”