Don't Let Me Be Lonely

Don't Let Me Be Lonely
An American Lyric
Claudia Rankine

"In Don't Let Me Be Lonely Rankine has graced us not only with her presence, but the ability to make ourselves present—to separate our consciousness from the droning media that drowns out life's possibilities."—Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
Winner of Poets and Writers' Jackson Poetry Prize

About the Book

In this powerful sequence of TV images and essay, Claudia Rankine explores the personal and political unrest of our volatile new century
I forget things too. It makes me sad. Or it makes
me the saddest. The sadness is not really about
George W. or our American optimism; the
sadness lives in the recognition that a life can
not matter.

Award-winning poet Claudia Rankine, well known for her experimental multi-genre writing, fuses the lyric, the essay, and the visual in this politically and morally fierce examination of solitude in the rapacious and media-driven assault on selfhood that is contemporary America. With wit and intelligence, Rankine strives toward an unprecedented clarity-of thought, imagination, and sentence-making-while always arguing that complex thinking is the only salvation for ourselves, our art, and our government.

Don't Let Me Be Lonely is an important new confrontation with our culture right now, with a voice at its heart bewildered by the anxieties of race riots, terrorist attacks, medicated depression, and the antagonism of the television that won't leave us alone.

Additional Reviews

“I don’t know of a book of poems that so unabashedly, startlingly, successfully partakes of this contemporary combination of turbulence and torpor. It’s consuming to read, engulfing. Raw.”—Pleiades

“In probing the anxiety and empathy she finds in the experience of being a “dead” spectator to her times, Rankine refuses to act as a spectator to her own poetry, and doesn’t allow her readers this comfort, either. Don’t Let Me Be Lonely articulates the unsettling possibility of moving from spectatorship to solidarity, with all the urgency that this task demands. This is vital poetry.”—The Brooklyn Rail

“Elegant and eloquent…[Rankine] holds up a mirror (the mirror on the door of the medicine cabinet?) and what we see there can be chilling indeed.”—American Book Review

“Page after page, Don’t Let Me Be Lonely offers a staggering record of a response to the media before and after 9/11 beyond anything the Department of Veterans Affairs foresaw.”—NYFA

Don’t Let Me Be Lonely is a book that refuses the safe distance of being a spectator to the lives of others—as well as to our own.”The Rumpus