Terrance Hayes is one of the essential poets writing in the U.S. today. Combining dazzling wordplay with emotional directness, Hayes’ poetry always honors the power of form to shape expression, while being equally conscious of the need to break through form whenever necessary: his most recent collection, American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin (2018), is a stunning example. His recent hybrid critical work, To Float in the Space Between: A Life and Work in Conversation with the Life and Work of Etheridge Knight (2018), is another. Combining memoir, literary analysis, and biography, and interspersed with compelling drawings, To Float in the Space Between is like nothing else. “I’m chasing a language that can be unburdened by people’s expectations,” he has said. “Language is always burdened by thought. I’m just trying to get it so it can be like feeling.”
Hayes is recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship and a Whiting Writers’ Award. His work has also been supported by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation. Lighthead (2010) won the National Book Award, and both How to Be Drawn (2015) and American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin were finalists for that same award.
Hayes will appear as a CAHI Distinguished Speaker and as the 2019 Susan D. Gubar Lecture. His appearance will also be the concluding event for October’s First Thursdays Festival.
This event is free but ticketed. Tickets are now available at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater Box Office, at 114 E. Kirkwood Avenue in Bloomington. Please call (812) 323-3020 or visit bctboxoffice.org.
The Buskirk-Chumley Theater is located at 114 E. Kirkwood Avenue, Bloomington, Indiana, 47408.