Terrance Hayes

Terrance Hayes

Past Event: Thursday, December 8, 2011

At Benaroya Hall — Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall

Poetry Icon

Poetry

Terrance Hayes’ poetry is nimble and surprising, constantly shifting the modes and means of poetic expression, while drawing from an extensive reserve of linguistic variance and sonic techniques to create poems that insinuate themselves, both musically and emotionally, within a reader.

Hayes was born in Columbia, South Carolina, in 1971 and has published several books of poetry, including Lighthead (2010), Wind in a Box (2006), Hip Logic (2002), and Muscular Music (1999). Lighthead was named the winner of the National Book Award for Poetry in 2010, and Hip Logic won the 2001 National Poetry Series and was a finalist for the 2001 Los Angeles Times Book Award.

Speaking with The Missouri Review‘s Jason Koos, Hayes notes that “[Thelonius] Monk says, ‘Man, every time you play you’re rehearsing!’ And I thought, that’s profound. It’s true, every poem is a rehearsal for the next poem, which is a rehearsal for the next poem. The idea of improvisation, rehearsal, movement, experiment—that’s what I’m interested in as an artist.” (2006) The improvisational skill of Hayes allows him to engage with and bend numerous traditions, styles, and cultural artifacts through unique and often explosive linguistic constructions, creating new shapes and forms of understanding through the variance of linguistic perspective.

Hayes received a B.A. from Coker College in South Carolina in 1994, where he was an Academic All-American, and an M.F.A. from the University of Pittsburgh in 1997. Writing of Lighthead in The Bee’s News, Abigail Deutsch describes it as “a rollicking, refined volume,” wherein “Hayes telescopes inward from generality to particularity, from ‘the African-American’ to a single person.” The linguistic gyrations and playfulness underscore a concern with finding and examining the roots of social phenomena and the individual’s role in a broader social participation. In this volume, Hayes “continues to tweak and torque, sneaking in a ‘sliver-thin silver fish,’ sitting with a ‘silk slick black back- / talking cousin.'” Hayes’ gift for musical and poetic variance also enables him to take on the roles and identities of a diverse and surprising array of speakers, and, through a keen ear for musical patterns in speech and language, the myriad voices and intonations become fundamentally about human expression. His poems are “less about semantics than about sonics, granting Lighthead the feel of a variety show, with music breaking up the acts.”

Hayes is the recipient of a Whiting Writers Award, a Pushcart Prize, three Best American Poetry selections, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation. He is a professor of creative writing at Carnegie Mellon University and lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with his wife, poet Yona Harvey, and their children Ua and Aaron.

Event Details

Benaroya Hall — Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall

200 University Street
Seattle, WA 98101

View directions.

Transportation & Parking

This event will be held in the Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall. The Recital Hall is located on the upper level of Benaroya Hall, up the stairs to the left side of the Box Office. Benaroya Hall is located at 200 University Street, directly across Second Avenue from the Seattle Art Museum. The public entrance to Benaroya Hall is along Third Avenue.


By Car

  • From Southbound I-5
    Take the Union Street exit (#165B). Continue onto Union Street and proceed approximately five blocks to Second Avenue. Turn left onto Second Avenue. The Benaroya Hall parking garage will be on your immediate left. The garage entrance is on Second Avenue, just south of Union Street.
  • From Northbound I-5
    Exit left onto Seneca Street (exit #165). Proceed two blocks and turn right onto Fourth Avenue. Continue two blocks. Turn left onto Union Street. Continue two blocks. Turn left onto Second Avenue. The Benaroya Hall parking garage will be on your immediate left. The garage entrance is on Second Avenue, just south of Union Street.
  • From Northbound Highway 99 (Aurora Avenue)
    Take the Seneca Street exit and move into the left lane. Turn left onto First Avenue and proceed one block. Take the next right (at the Hammering Man sculpture) onto University Street. Continue up the hill two blocks to Third Avenue. Turn left onto Third Avenue. Continue to the next block and turn left onto Union Street. Make the next left onto Second Avenue. The Benaroya Hall parking garage will be on your immediate left. The garage entrance is on Second Avenue, just south of Union Street.
  • From Southbound Highway 99 (Aurora Avenue)
    Take the Denny Way/Downtown exit. Keep right and cross over Denny Way onto Wall Street. Proceed approximately five blocks and turn left onto Second Avenue. Continue south on Second Avenue approximately eight blocks. The Benaroya Hall parking garage will be on your left. The garage entrance is on Second Avenue, just south of Union Street.

By Bus
Benaroya Hall is served by numerous bus routes. Digital reader boards along Third Avenue display real-time bus arrival information. For details and trip planning tools, call Metro Rider Information at 206.553.3000 (voice) or 206.684.1739 (TDD), or visit Metro online. The Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel, served by bus and light rail, has a stop just below the Hall (University Street Station).

Parking
The 430-car underground garage at Benaroya Hall provides direct access from the enclosed parking area into the Hall via elevators leading to The Boeing Company Gallery. Enter the garage on Second Avenue, just south of Union Street. Maximum vehicle height is 6’8″. Blink charging stations are available for electric vehicles. The event rate is $16.

Parking is also available at:

  • The Cobb Building (enter on University Street between Third and Fourth Avenues).
  • The Russell Investments Center (enter on Union Street between First and Second Avenues).
  • There are many other garages within a one-block radius of Benaroya Hall, along with numerous on-street parking options.

Accessibility

All of our venues have accessible seating and listening devices available. Click here for more information about accessibility and ADA services at Benaroya Hall.

Please contact us at sal@lectures.org or 206.621.2230 x10 for more details and to let us know you’re coming so we can better accommodate your needs.