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Poets on Craft: Toi Derricotte and Terrance Hayes
October 4, 2019 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
In this intimate meeting-of-the-minds, hear two exceptional poets, Toi Derricotte and Terrance Hayes, read from and discuss their work with moderator, renowned poet and scholar Elizabeth Alexander. Derricotte is co-founder of Cave Canem Foundation and the author of six collections of poetry, most recently I: New and Selected Poems (Uni. of Pittsburgh Press, 2019), of which Ross Gay says, “No writer I know of explores with more honestly the sorrows and wonders and joys and shames and tenderness of being alive.” Cave Canem faculty and 2014 MacArthur Fellow, Hayes’ most recent poetry collection, American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin (Penguin House, 2018), is described by Walton Muyumba as “The right poetry collection for right now.”Free and open to the public. Refreshments served. Co-sponsored with NYU Creative Writing Program.
Elizabeth Alexander — poet, educator, memoirist, scholar, and cultural advocate — is president of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the nation’s largest funder in arts and culture, and humanities in higher education. Dr. Alexander has held distinguished professorships at Smith College, Columbia University, and Yale University, where she taught for 15 years and chaired the African American Studies Department. She is a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, serves on the Pulitzer Prize Board, and co-designed the Art for Justice Fund. Notably, Alexander composed and delivered “Praise Song for the Day” for the inauguration of President Barack Obama in 2009, and is author or co-author of fourteen books. Her book of poems, American Sublime (Graywolf Press, 2015), was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry in 2006, and her memoir, The Light of the World (Grand Central Publishing, 2015), was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Biography in 2015.
Toi Derricotte’s sixth poetry collection, I: New and Selected Poems, was published in 2019 by University of Pittsburgh Press. Her numerous literary awards include fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. She received the Lucille Medwick Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, the Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award from Poets & Writers, the Distinguished Pioneering of the Arts Award from the United Black Artists, the PEN/Voelcker Award, the Elizabeth Kray Award for service to the field of poetry from Poets House, three Pushcart prizes and will be included in The Best American Poetry 2019. With poet Cornelius Eady, Derricotte co-founded the Cave Canem Foundation in 1996. She is Professor Emerita from University of Pittsburgh and is a former Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.
Terrance Hayes’ most recent publications include American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin (Penguin, 2018), 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; and To Float in The Space Between: Drawings and Essays in Conversation with Etheridge Knight (Wave Books, 2018), winner of the Poetry Foundation’s 2019 Pegasus Award for Poetry Criticism and finalist for the 2018 National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism. Hayes’ second book, Hip Logic (Penguin, 2002), was a National Poetry Series selection, as well as a finalist for the Los Angeles Time Book Award and the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets. His third collection, Wind in a Box (Penguin 2006), was a Hurston-Wright Legacy Award finalist. Hayes’ other honors include a 2014 MacArthur Fellowship, Whiting Writers Award, Kate Tufts Discovery Award, a NAACP Image Award for Poetry and a National Book Award. Hayes is a Professor of English at New York University.