MacArthur Genius Award and National Book Award Winner to visit SUNY Old Westbury

portrait of poet Terrance Hayes

Widely recognized poet Terrance Hayes will offer a presentation of his most recent works during “Sonnets for Donald Trump’s America: Poetry, Race, and the Future of Democracy” on February 19, at SUNY Old Westbury.

Being held in recognition of Black History Month, the event begins at 1 p.m. in the College’s Student Union. Hayes’ talk is free and open to the public. The reading will include a question-and-answer session and a book signing.

Having won such prestigious honors as the National Book Award for poetry (2010) and a MacArthur Genius Fellowship (2014), his writings address issues of race, gender, politics, and music. He is currently a professor at New York University and serves as the Chancellor of the American Academy of Poets.

Terrance Hayes’s most recent publications include “American Sonnets for My Past And Future Assassin” (Penguin 2018) and “To Float In The Space Between: Drawings and Essays in Conversation with Etheridge Knight” (Wave, 2018).  To Float In The Space Between was winner of the Poetry Foundation’s 2019 Pegasus Award for Poetry Criticism and a finalist for the 2018 National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism.  American Sonnets for My Past And Future Assassin won the Hurston/Wright 2019 Award for Poetry and was a finalist the 2018 National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry, the 2018 National Book Award in Poetry, the 2018 TS Eliot Prize for Poetry, and the 2018 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award.

He served as the 2017-2018 poetry editor for New York Times Magazine and was guest editor of The Best American Poetry 2014, the preeminent annual anthology of contemporary American poetry. His poems have appeared in ten editions of the series.

This event is sponsored by the English Department with additional support from the Office of Academic Affairs, the American Studies Department, the Office of First Year Experience, and the Office of Student Affairs.