Claudia Rankine was born in Jamaica in 1963. She earned her B.A. in English from Williams College and her M.F.A. in poetry from Columbia University.
She is the author of five collections of poetry, including, most recently, Citizen: An American Lyric, as well as Don’t Let Me Be Lonely; PLOT; The End of the Alphabet; and Nothing in Nature is Private (1995).
Rankine has edited numerous anthologies including American Women Poets in the Twenty-First Century: Where Lyric Meets Language (Wesleyan, 2002) and American Poets in the Twenty-First Century: The New Poetics (2007). Her plays include Provenance of Beauty: A South Bronx Travelogue, commissioned by the Foundry Theatre and Existing Conditions, co-authored with Casey Llewellyn. She has also produced a number of videos in collaboration with John Lucas, including “Situation One.”
A recipient of fellowships from the Academy of American Poetry, the National Endowments for the Arts, and the Lannan Foundation, she is currently the Henry G. Lee Professor of English at Pomona College.
Beth Loffreda grew up in Audubon, Pennsylvania and attended the University of Virginia (BA, English) and Rutgers University (PhD, English). She is the author of Losing Matt Shepard: life and politics in the aftermath of anti-gay murder. She teaches creative writing and American Studies at the University of Wyoming, where she directed the MFA program for six years.