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Poetry Off the Shelf: Terrance Hayes

Thursday, October 20th, 7:00 PM

Poetry Foundation
61 West Superior Street
Free admission on a first-come, first-served basis

One of the most compelling voices in American poetry, Terrance Hayes is the author of four collections, including his most recent, Lighthead, winner of the 2010 National Book Award in Poetry. He has been a recipient of many other honors and awards, and his poems have appeared in numerous literary journals and magazines. Hayes is an elegant and adventurous writer with disarming humor, grace, tenderness, and brilliant turns of phrase, very much interested in what it means to be an artist and an African-American man. His work explores identity and culture and the interplay between individual and community. He writes, “There are recurring explorations of identity and culture in my work and rather than deny my thematic obsessions, I work to change the forms in which I voice them. I aspire to a poetic style that resists style. In my newest work I continue to be guided by my interests in people: in the ways community enriches the nuances of individuality; the ways individuality enriches the nuances of community.” A professor of creative writing at Carnegie Mellon University, Hayes lives in Pittsburgh with his wife and children.

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  • Detail, photograph by Jun Fujita, circa 1930s, courtesy of the Graham and Pamela Lee private collection.
    Current Exhibition
    Jan 12, 2017 – Apr 21, 2017

    This exhibition presents photographs and ephemera from the poet Jun Fujita (1888-1963). Fujita is an English-language tanka poet who published regularly in Poetry during the 1920s. The first Japanese-American photojournalist, he is responsible for the most famous photos of the Eastland disaster, the Chicago race riots of 1919, and the St. Valentine’s Day massacre, among others. This show will explore his lesser-known landscapes.