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Attention Equals LifeThe Pursuit of the Everyday in Contemporary Poetry and Culture$
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Andrew Epstein

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199972128

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199972128.001.0001

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Claudia Rankine’s Citizen and Beyond

(p.272) Conclusion
Attention Equals Life

Andrew Epstein

Oxford University Press

An important facet of the story of the poetics of everyday life this book has traced is increasing commitment to enhancing our attentiveness to the daily. Recent everyday-life poets have set out to explore and stretch the boundaries of poetry and aesthetic form to make visible the operations of gender, race, sexuality, and capitalism in daily life. As an example of this development, the chapter provides a brief discussion of Claudia Rankine’s Citizen: An American Lyric. Reminding us that the everyday is always an embodied, situated phenomenon, Rankine’s book powerfully evokes the traumatic experience of “everyday racism,” documenting microaggressions that continuously interrupt and punctuate daily life for people of color.

Keywords:   everyday life, contemporary poetry, microaggressions, Claudia Rankine

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