Terrance Hayes

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Terrance Hayes
Terrance hayes 9155122.JPG
reading at the Folger Shakespeare Library, 2014
Born (1971-11-18) November 18, 1971 (age 43)
Columbia, South Carolina
Occupation professor
Nationality American
Alma mater Coker College;
University of Pittsburgh
Genre Poetry
Notable awards National Book Award for Poetry
Spouse Yona Harvey

Terrance Hayes (born November 18, 1971) is an American poet and educator who has published four poetry collections. His 2010 collection, Lighthead, won the National Book Award for Poetry in 2010.[1] In September 2014, he was one of 21 recipients of the prestigious MacArthur fellowships awarded to individuals who show outstanding creativity in their work.[2]


Hayes was born in Columbia, South Carolina.

He received a B.A. from Coker College and an M.F.A. from the University of Pittsburgh writing program. He was a Professor of Creative Writing at Carnegie Mellon University until 2013, at which time he joined the faculty at the English Department at the University of Pittsburgh.[3]

He lives in Pittsburgh with his wife, the poet Yona Harvey, who also serves as a professor at the University of Pittsburgh, and their children.[4][5]


Hayes first book of poetry, Muscular Music (1999), won both the Whiting Writers Award and the Kate Tufts Discovery Award.[6] His second collection, Hip Logic (2002), won the National Poetry Series, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award, and runner-up for the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets.[7] He won the National Book Award for Lighthead.[1]

Hayes poems have appeared in literary journals and magazines including The New Yorker, The American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, Fence, The Kenyon Review, Jubilat Harvard Review, West Branch, and Poetry.[8]

In praising Hayes's work, 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."[9]

In September 2014, he was honored as one of the 21 2014 fellows of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The fellowship comes with a $625,000 stipend over five years and is one of the most prestigious prizes that is awarded for artists, scholars and professionals.[10]


Poetry Collections[edit]

  • Lighthead (Penguin Books, 2010) —winner of the National Book Award[1]
  • Wind in a Box (Penguin Books, 2006)
  • Hip Logic. Penguin Books. 2002. ISBN 978-0-14-200139-4. 
  • Muscular Music (Tia Chucha Press, 1999; reissued by Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2006)


External links[edit]