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.