Citizen Kick-Off Event

Location: Neutral Zone

Date & Time: 6-8pm, March 7th

Come join us to kick off the month-long community project, "Neutral Zone Presents: NEA Big Read in Ann Arbor." Members of the Ann Arbor community and surrounding cities will come together throughout March 2019 for critical explorations of race, gender, class and other intersecting identities, centered around a deep dive into Claudia Rankine’s National Book Critics Circle Award-winning collection of poetry, Citizen: An American Lyric. The month-long program, presented by the Neutral Zone — a diverse, youth-driven nonprofit — was made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. At the kickoff event, community members will enter the conversation central to the program by reading passages from Citizen and responding to them in small and large group conversation. At the event, youth leaders from the Neutral Zone and Ozone House will also perform original poetry invested in the themes of Citizen: namely, the experiences of women of color, intersectionality, micro-aggressions, and what it means to be "citizen."


Citizen Book Club 
(Teens Only)

Location: Neutral Zone

Date & Time: 5-6:30pm
Every week of March: Monday-Wednesday

Please register here

Come Read Citizen with us! We will write poems and make art in response to the themes of the book: micro-aggressios, racial and gender justice, intersectionality. Teen book club members will get a chance to perfor at the culminating event as an opening act for featured artist Kush Thompson.


Literati Book Club

Location: Literati Book Store (124 E. Washington)

Date & Time: 7-8pm, March 13th

Want to join hundreds in the Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti community as we read and discuss Citizen through the month of March.

Bring your copy of Citizen (we will have them for purchase as well) to Literati’s monthly book club!


Citizen Identity Collage Workshop

Location: Ann Arbor District Library

Date & Time: 6-8pm, March 14th

At this public art workshop, participants will examine the visuals in Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine and study various artists who use collage to address issues of identity and social justice. They will be provided with materials to make their own collages and write artist statements that will be hung in a gallery at the culminating event. This workshop will be led by local visual artist and poet Anika Love.


Citizenship Dinner: Immigration

Location: Neutral Zone

Date & Time: 6-8pm, March 21st

Neutral Zone youth leaders will host a "citizenship dinner" for the public. Community members who attend will share a meal and engage in discussion of Citizen. Guiding questions and activities for the evening will encourage small group conversation and center on the theme of identity and definitions of citizenship, with a focus on the experiences of immigrants and refugees in the US. Neutral Zone youth leaders will perform original poetry to further explore the themes of Citizen. A simultaneous citizenship dinner will take place on the University of Michigan campus, following a similar format and addressing the carceral state with a featured performance by Cozine Welch of the Prison Creative Arts Project.


Citizen Culminating Event

Location: Ann Arbor District Library, 4th Floor

Date & Time: 6-8pm, March 28th

We will close out this month-long program with a culminating event at the downtown Ann Arbor Library, featuring a performance and Q&A with our visiting artist Kush Thompson (out of Chicago, by way of New Orleans.) Leading up to her reading, members of the teen book club will share their poetic responses to Citizen and identity collages made by community members will be displayed for viewing in a gallery.