Synopses & Reviews
The third collection of poetry from the author of Lighthead, winner of the 2010 National Book Award
Terrance Hayes is an elegant and adventurous writer with disarming humor, grace, tenderness, and brilliant turns of phrase. He is very much interested in what it means to be an artist and a black man. In his first collection, Muscular Music, he took the reader through a living library of cultural icons, from Shaft and Fat Albert to John Coltrane and Miles Davis. His second collection, Hip Logic, continued these explorations of popular culture, fatherhood, cultural heritage, and loss. Wind in a Box, Hayess resonant new collection, continues his interest in how traditions (of poetry and culture alike) can be simultaneously upended and embraced. The struggle for freedom (the wind) within containment (the box) is the unifying motif as Hayes explores how identity is shaped by race, heritage, and spirituality. This new book displays not only what the Los Angeles Times calls the range of a "bold virtuoso," but also the imaginative fervor of a poet in love with poetry.
"In this searching follow-up to the acclaimed Hip Logic, Hayes bluntly concludes that 'everyone/ is a descendant of slaves' and, more tentatively, wonders 'if outrunning your captors is not the real meaning of Race?' A series of 'Blue' poems ('The Blue Bowie,' 'The Blue Terrance') considers 20th-century representations of race, culling wisdom and impressions from poet-activist Amiri Baraka, filmmaker and performer Melvin Van Peebles and even Dr. Seuss: 'Blacks in one box. Blacks in two box/ Blacks on/ Blacks stacked in boxes stacked on boxes.' Utilizing a range of forms and voices Dante's terza rima, jerky blues in the spirit of Langston Hughes, Frostian lyrics, contemporary prose poems Hayes brilliantly delivers the aeolian flux promised by the title: 'a signature of wind,/ my type-written handwriting reconfiguring the past.'" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
A dazzling new collection of poetry by Terrance Hayes, the National Book Awardwinning author of Lighthead
In How to Be Drawn, his daring fifth collection, Terrance Hayes explores how we see and are seen. While many of these poems bear the clearest imprint yet of Hayess background as a visual artist, they do not strive to describe art so much as inhabit it. Thus, one poem contemplates the
principle of blind contour drawing while others are inspired by maps, graphs, and assorted artists. The formal and emotional versatilities that distinguish Hayess award-winning poetry are unified by existential focus. Simultaneously complex and transparent, urgent and composed, How to Be Drawn is a mesmerizing achievement.
About the Author
Terrance Hayes received an MFA in poetry from the University of Pittsburgh. He was the recipient of a 1999 Whiting Writers Award, and his first collection of poetry, Muscular Music, was the winner of the Kate Tufts Discovery Award in 2000. He is currently an assistant professor of English at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.