Using Jonathan Culler's Theory of the Lyric, "Citizen, a Lyric Event," argues for Claudia Rankine's Citizen as fulfilling a very specific lyric criteria: temporality. Positing Citizen as an intervention into the now, this essay uses the theoretical tools offered by Culler's work, supplemented by turns to, inter alia, Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, and Judith Butler's notion of the "address," to explicate how Rankine's American Lyric (her subtitle) rises to the level of "poetic event." This essay focuses on the temporality of the lyric because it is only because of the lyric's predisposition to thinking the now that enables it write the politics of its conjuncture. "Poetic event," then, as the ways in which temporality imposes itself upon "poetic structure." It is the time of the lyric that makes of the lyric an event.