How To Be Drawn

Paperback | March 31, 2015

byTerrance Hayes

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A finalist for the 2015 National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award

A dazzling new collection of poetry by Terrance Hayes, the National Book Award–winning author of Lighthead

In How to Be Drawn, his daring fifth collection, Terrance Hayes explores how we see and are seen. While many of these poems bear the clearest imprint yet of Hayes’s background as a visual artist, they do not strive to describe art so much as inhabit it. Thus, one poem contemplates the
principle of blind contour drawing while others are inspired by maps, graphs, and assorted artists. The formal and emotional versatilities that distinguish Hayes’s award-winning poetry are unified by existential focus. Simultaneously complex and transparent, urgent and composed, How to Be Drawn is a mesmerizing achievement.

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From the Publisher

A finalist for the 2015 National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle AwardA dazzling new collection of poetry by Terrance Hayes, the National Book Award–winning author of LightheadIn How to Be Drawn, his daring fifth collection, Terrance Hayes explores how we see and are seen. While many of these poems bear the clearest imp...

TERRANCE HAYES is the author of Lighthead, winner of the 2010 National Book Award; Wind in a Box; Hip Logic; and Muscular Music, winner of the Kate Tufts Discovery Award. He teaches at the University of Pittsburgh.

other books by Terrance Hayes

Lighthead: Poems
Lighthead: Poems

Paperback|Mar 30 2010

$16.54 online$22.50list price(save 26%)
Keep and Give Away: Poems
Keep and Give Away: Poems

Kobo ebook|Jul 23 2012

$14.19 online$18.43list price(save 23%)
Hip Logic
Hip Logic

Kobo ebook|May 28 2002


see all books by Terrance Hayes
Format:PaperbackDimensions:112 pages, 9 × 5.9 × 0.3 inPublished:March 31, 2015Publisher:Penguin Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0143126881

ISBN - 13:9780143126881

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Read from the Book

*ACKNOWLEDGMENTSThe American Reader, American Studies, The Baffler, CHORUS—A Literary Mixtape, Conduit, Crazyhorse, Guernica,, heartjournal,, Huizache, jubilat, Los Angeles Review, Manor House Quarterly, The New Yorker, New York Times T Magazine, The Normal School, Poet Lore, Poetry Magazine, Poem-A-Day, A Public Space, Rattle, The Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review,, Tate Etc. Magazine, The Times Literary Supplement, Tin House, Terminus, and Vinyl.“New Jersey Poem” also appeared in The Best American Poetry 2013, edited by Denise Duhamel and David Lehman. “The Rose Has Teeth” also appeared in The Best American Poetry 2012, edited by Mark Doty and David Lehman. “Model Prison Model” also appeared in 2011 Pushcart Prize XXXV: Best of the Small Presses.The poem “Who Are the Tribes” first appeared as a chapbook published by Pilot Books in 2011, with thanks to Betsy Wheeler. “Like Mercy” also appeared in the chapbook Between Ghosts (Center for Book Arts, 2010), with thanks to Sharon Dolin.“Gentle Measures” was written for the “Gods and Monsters” theme in the Hugo House literary series. “How to Draw an Invisible Man” also was published online by the United States Postal Service for the centennial Ralph Ellison stamp. “Instructions for a Séance with Vladimirs” was first commissioned as part of the Book Wings project, a collaboration between the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program and the Moscow Art Theatre, with thanks to Nate Brown and Christopher Merrill. “Antebellum House Party” was first written for Found Anew: New Writing Inspired by the South Caroliniana Library Digital Collections, with thanks to Ray McManus.Deepest gratitude to Yona Harvey and Paul Slovak for their help with this collection, and to the United States Artists Zell Fellowship for its generous support. Thanks as well to friends who influenced this manuscript through encouragement and conversation: Elizabeth Alexander, Rob Casper, Radiclani Clytus, Toi Derricotte, and Shara McCallum.WHAT IT LOOK LIKEDear Ol’ Dirty Bastard: I too like it raw,I don’t especially care for Duke Ellington

Editorial Reviews

Praise for How to Be Drawn  “Hayes’s work fits strong emotions into virtuoso forms. . .He is a poet of swallowed garrulity, imagined riposte, mock correction, and interior litigation. . .[his] poems are like a Pixar version of the mental marionette show, a dazzling space crammed with comic jabs.”—Dan Chiasson, The New Yorker                                                                           “Music serves as both an animating force and resonant presence in Hayes’s poems. . .Hayes occupies this musical mode like a connoisseur and deploys it like a virtuoso.  His lines can (and do) freely drift between themes of blackness, masculinity, history, family, art, and language, and freely shift between forms.”—The Boston Globe                                                                            “One of the most exciting and imaginative poets at work in America today. . .though his writing, with its mix of intellectual agility and sonic density, sounds far more like hip hop, it stands, temperamentally, in the tradition of older kinds of music:  folk ballads, for example, or the blues, traditions that take hardship as a given and seek solace, entertainment, and communion in its midst.”—Slate                                                                              “Both a fascinating and liberating collection of poems. As it kicks against our staid definition of poetry it offers new and refreshing possibilities for the artform.”—The Pittsburgh Post Gazette“Another stunner, a collection that sees the poet thinking more deeply about perception – the public and private, the viewed and the ignored. . .the work hurdles between violent beauty and stark, philosophical truth telling.”—Publishers Weekly   “Assured and electrifying. . .a grandly imaginative and cunningly inventive poet. . .Hayes writes far-reaching yet intimate monologues that are simultaneously subtle and hard-hitting. . .Expansive, original, resounding.”—ALA Booklist   “Reading Terrance Hayes’ thick, gorgeous, knowing, endlessly surprising poems is like spending a long evening with your most soulful and garrulous friend, one you haven’t seen in ages.  His poems are protean; you never know when they will shape-shift or turn a corner.  Hayes and his poems are brilliant, which is to say, bedazzling but also filled with illuminating light that shows us things we hadn’t seen before.”—Elizabeth Alexander