On Sunday, September 24, the Katonah Poetry Series will continue to celebrate its 50th Anniversary with a poetry reading by MacArthur Fellow Terrance Hayes. Terrance Hayes has also received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. He is the author of five multi-award-winning poetry collections. His most recent title How To Be Drawn (Penguin, 2015) was a 2015 National Book Award finalist. The award committee described it this way: “Simultaneously complex and transparent, urgent and composed, How to Be Drawn is a mesmerizing achievement.” His previous books include Lighthead (Penguin, 2010), which won the National Book Award and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award; Wind in a Box (Penguin, 2006), also a finalist for the Hurston-Wright; Hip Logic (Penguin, 2002), which was a National Poetry Series selection and also finalist for both the Los Angeles Times Book Award and the James Laughlin Award from the American Academy of Poets; and Muscular Music (Tia Chucha Press, 1999), which won the Whiting Writers Award and the Kate Tufts Discovery Award. Hayes served as guest editor of The Best American Poetry of 2014 and his own poems have appeared in nine separate editions of that series. He has won two Pushcart Prizes. This year he was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and also became the poetry editor of the New York Times Magazine.
Born in Columbia, South Carolina in 1971, Hayes studied painting and English at Coker College where he was an Academic All-American on the men’s basketball team. After earning an MFA from the University of Pittsburgh, Hayes taught in Ohio, Louisiana and Japan before returning to Pittsburgh to teach, first at Carnegie Mellon and, since 2013, at the University of Pittsburgh. His poems are stylistically and formally eclectic and inventive, and are deeply informed by Hayes’ background in art and music. His subjects frequently touch on identity, race, and gender. Elizabeth Alexander says of him, “not only does he make utterly original and inventive poems, but he also inspires other poets — like myself — to feel similarly liberated in our own art-making.” Cornelius Eady has said, “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.”
Admission is $10/adult. (Students, no cost.) Doors open at 3:30 pm. Tickets sold only at the door. Come early, this event likely to sell out! The reading will be followed by audience Q&A, a public reception, and a book signing with the poet. Copies of Hayes’ books will be available for sale, as will the newly published How a Poem Happens: Conversatons with Twenty–One Extraordinary Poets (Andrew Kuhn, Red Spruce Press)— interviews of poets who have read for KPS since 2010. The Katonah Village Library is located at 26 Bedford Road, an easy walk from the Metro-North train station. Street parking is available. For further information, please visit www.katonahpoetry.com. The Katonah Poetry Series can also be found on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
The Katonah Poetry Series is funded in part by both The Jerome Levy Foundation and Poets & Writers, Inc. with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Founded in 1967, KPS is a non-profit program under the auspices of the Katonah Village Library. Past readers have included eight Poets Laureate of the United States and fifteen winners of the Pulitzer Prize. Mark your calendars! KPS’s fall season of poetry readings will continue with Carla Funk on November 5, 2017.