Breaking Form: a Poetry and Culture Podcast

Tools vs. Weapons (with Terrance Hayes / pt. 1)

July 10, 2023 Aaron Smith and James Allen Hall Episode 98
Breaking Form: a Poetry and Culture Podcast
Tools vs. Weapons (with Terrance Hayes / pt. 1)
Show Notes

The queens get between the covers with Terrance Hayes ahead of the release of new works of poetry and prose on July 18.

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Aaron's STOP LYING is available from the Pitt Poetry Series. Publisher's Weekly calls the book "visceral, tender, and compassionate."

James's ROMANTIC COMEDY is available from Four Way Books. Writing in Lit Hub, Rebecca Morgan Frank says the poems have "a gift for telling stories . . .  in acts of queer survival."

Pre-Order Terrance Hayes's new books, out on July 18.
So to Speak: Poems
Watch Your Language: Visual and Literary Reflections on a Century of American Poetry

Terrance Hayes's essay on Gwendolyn Brooks in Watch Your Language is called "My Gwendolyn Brooks" and you can read it online here. Find Brooks's poem "the mother" online here. It was first published in A Street in Bronzeville in 1945 when Brooks was 28 years old.

In a 2014 interview for the Best American Poetry blog, Terrance reiterates that Michael S. Harper said that the words "nice," "cute," and "amazing" do not belong in poems. The whole interview with Hayes is here.

James's poem "A Fact Which Occurred in America" referenced in the show is based on the George Dawe 1810 painting, A Negro Over-Powering a Buffalo - A Fact Which Occurred in America in 1809,  which you can view online here.  You can read his poem here (though imagine it's in tercets).

Toi Dericotte is the author of 6 collections of poetry, including I: New and Selected Poems (U of Pittsburgh, 2019), which was a finalist for the National Book Award. Read more about her at her website:

Yusef Komunyakaa is the author of more than 15 books of poems, most recently The Emperor of Water Clocks (FSG, 2015). You can read some of his poems here