Fall 2014: Terrance Hayes
“ I’m chasing a kind of language that can be unburdened by people’s expectations. ” – Terrance Hayes interviewed in Hot Metal Bridge
Award‐winning author of five collections of poetry, Terrance Hayes, provides readers with some of the most emotionally‐charged and compelling works of the twenty‐first century. His most recent venture in poetry‐writing, How to be Drawn (Penguin 2015), is posed for great success based on the recognition he received from his previous works. Hayes’ first book of poetry, Muscular Music (Tia Chucha Press 1999) won both a Whiting Writers Award and the Kate Tufts Discovery Award. His second book of poetry, Hip Logic (Penguin 2002), was nominated for both the Los Angeles Time Book Award and the James Laughlin Award. His next collection, Wind in a Box (Penguin 2006), was nominated for the Hurston‐Wright award and won the Push Cart Prize. His second‐most recent collection, Lighthead (Penguin 2010), was nominated for National Book Critics Circle Award and Hurston‐Wright award and won of the 2010 National Book Award.
Hayes was born in Columbia, South Carolina on November 18, 1971. He went on to receive a B.A. in English and painting at Coker College where he also participated as an Academic All‐American men’s basketball player. In 1997, he received his M.F.A. from the University of Pittsburg. In the span of several years after, he taught in various locations including Japan, Columbus, Ohio, and New Orleans, Louisiana. He then began a twelve‐year professorship in 2001 at Carnegie Mellon University and transitioned in Fall 2013 into a full‐time English professor at the University of Pittsburg.
American poet and critic, Cornelius Eady, examines the brilliance of Hayes, claiming, “ First you’ll marvel at his skill, his near‐perfect pitch, his disarming humor, his brilliant turns of phrase. Then you’ll notice the grace, the tenderness, the unblinking truth‐telling just beneath his lines, the open and generous way he takes in our world.”