We are honored to help present this evening with one of the powerful, vital poets at work in this country today, Terrance Hayes. Winner of the National Book Award for his 2010 collection, Lighthead, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and a finalist for the National Book Award in 2015 for How to Be Drawn. The author of three other previous collections, he is here tonight with his astounding newest, American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin (Penguin).
“Hayes addresses this marvelous series of 70 free-verse sonnets to his potential assassin: a nameless, faceless embodiment of America’s penchant for racially motivated violence. The poems are redolent of his signature rhythmic artistry and wordplay . . . Inventive as ever, Hayes confronts America’s myriad ills with unflinching candor, while leaving space for love, humor, and hope.” —Publishers Weekly.
In addition to acknowledging his poetry, worth citing are the many things Terrance Hayes also does to support the work of others, both younger, emerging poets, and helping draw attention to neglected elders, in particular the work he’s doing on the late poet Etheridge Knight. This fall will see publication, from Seattle’s Wave Books, of To Float in the Space Between: A Life and Work in Conversation with the Life and Work of Etheridge Knight.
Co-presented with Langston. Free admission.