Claudia Rankine was born in Kingston, Jamaica and raised in Jamaica and New York City. She was educated at Williams College and Columbia University. She has taught at Case Western Reserve University, Barnard College, University of Georgia, and in the writing program at the University of Houston. She now teaches at Pomona College. She is a poet, editor, playwright, and multimedia artist. Politically astute and invariably ironic about contemporary American life, she tracks its effects on language, institutions, and cultural understanding. She is also regularly concerned with the way the media creates and limits the character of individual consciousness. As a black woman, she frequently asks us to think about the status of race in America. The poems that follow are all from Don’t Let Me Be Lonely (2004).