Will Rawls and Claudia Rankine
Will Rawls is a choreographer, writer, and performer based in Brooklyn, NY. His practice combines dance with other media to investigate the poetics of blackness, ambiguity, and abstraction. His inquiries into bodily states and humanity aim to redraw notions of power and form. Rawls has presented his work at The Chocolate Factory, MoMA PS1, Performa 15, the Whitney Museum of American Art, ImPulsTanz, and Portland Institute of Contemporary Art. In addition to presenting his own performances, he collaborated with Ishmael Houston-Jones to co-curate the Danspace Project Platform 2016: Lost and Found. Focusing on the intergenerational impact of the AIDS epidemic on dancers, women, and people of color, he helped organize performances, reconstructions, discussions, and co-edited the catalogue, Lost and Found: Dance, New York, HIV/AIDS, Then and Now. His writings have been published by Artforum, Triple Canopy, les presses du réel, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Hammer Museum.
Claudia Rankine is the author of five books of poetry, including the bestseller Citizen: An American Lyric, (Graywolf, 2014), which won the National Book Critics Circle Award, was a finalist for the National Book Award, and was praised by The New York Times for "brilliantly pushing poetry's forms to disarm readers and circumvent our carefully constructed defense mechanisms." Her four earlier collections include: Don't Let Me Be Lonely (Graywolf, 2004), PLOT (Grove, 2001), The End of the Alphabet (Grove, 1998), and Nothing in Nature is Private (1995). A recipient of fellowships from the Academy of American Poetry, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Lannan Foundation as well as a 2016 MacArthur Fellow, she is the Frederick Iseman Professor of Poetry at Yale.