Lighthead: Book summary and reviews of Lighthead by Terrance Hayes

Lighthead

by Terrance Hayes

Lighthead
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  • Published in USA  Mar 2010
    112 pages
    Genre: Poetry

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Book Summary

From an award-winning poet, a new collection in which the political and the personal converge in innovative and beautiful ways.

In his fourth collection, Terrance Hayes investigates how we construct experience. With one foot firmly grounded in the everyday and the other hovering in the air, his poems braid dream and reality into a poetry that is both dark and buoyant. Cultural icons as diverse as Fela Kuti, Harriet Tubman, and Wallace Stevens appear with meditations on desire and history. We see Hayes testing the line between story and song in a series of stunning poems inspired by the Pecha Kucha, a Japanese presenta­tion format. This innovative collection presents the light- headedness of a mind trying to pull against gravity and time. Fueled by an imagination that enlightens, delights, and ignites, Lighthead leaves us illuminated and scorched.

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Book Awards

  • award image National Book Awards, 2010

Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. The deservedly acclaimed Hayes returns in his fourth book with the kinds of sly, twisting, hip, jazzy poems his fans have come to expect, but also with a new somberness of tone and mature caution." - Publishers Weekly

"In this thoroughly delightful collection, Hayes invites readers to share his experience and especially his sense of the African American experience through the eyes of such alter egos as Lighthead, Bullethead, Tankhead, and Orpheus....Highly recommended." - Library Journal

"Hayes's fourth book puts invincibly restless wordplay at the service of strong emotions: a son's frustration, a husband's love, a citizen's righteous anger and a friend's erotic jealousy animate these technically astute, even puzzlelike, lines." Stephen Burt, The New York Times

"Terrance Hayes is a poet of great verbal inventiveness, formal skill and ingenuity, and strong imagination.... Lighthead constitutes a bold movement forward in the development of an important voice in American poetry." - Weave Magazine

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More Information

Terrance Hayes is the author of Wind in a Box, Hip Logic, and Muscular Music. His honors include a Whiting Award, the Kate Tufts Discovery Award, a National Poetry Series Award, and Guggenheim and NEA fellowships. He teaches in the English department at Carnegie Mellon University.

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