Monday September 11, 2017
Why Broken Social Scene's Andrew Whiteman wants you to read Claudia Rankine's poetry collection, Citizen
more stories from this episode
- Why actor and comedian Mary Walsh decided to write a novel
- Why Karen Connelly tackled love, lust and sex in her latest novel
- Why Janet Rogers sees poets as witnesses to history
- Why Broken Social Scene's Andrew Whiteman wants you to read Claudia Rankine's poetry collection, Citizen
- Janet Rogers reads her poem Final Report
- Full Episode
Musician Andrew Whiteman knows a thing or two about lyrics. He is a guitarist in the musical collective Broken Social Scene, and has a band with his wife, Ariel Engle, called AroarA. Together they were longlisted for the 2014 Polaris Music Prize for their EP, In the Pines, which was based on the poetry of Alice Notley.
Andrew Whiteman spoke with The Next Chapter about Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine, and why its analysis of racism is so relevant in today's political climate.
"It's a meditation on the state of racism in America right now. It's really, really formally interesting and captivating and exciting. It also is incredibly penetrating. There's a refrain in some of these first sections where she says, 'Did you just say that? Did he just say that? Haven't you said this?' It's about noticing these tiny events of institutional and culturally embedded racism that quote, 'people who ought to know better,' practice and indulge in everyday."
Andrew Whiteman's comments have been edited and condensed.