Anti-racism through art of poetry

Author and educator Terrance Hayes visited Coastal Carolina University for a reading and book signing in the Recital Hall of the Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts building on Nov. 10.

Terrance Hayes read from his published work “American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin,” as well as other works and even from some that have not been officially published yet.

The majority of these poems would surround events and happenings of his own life. He said some of these events include a day at the flea market or past relationships, as well topics that impacted all of America—the presidency of Donald Trump, the stock market crash, and the death of George Floyd.

However, the central idea of all the poems he read from was about the topic of race, specifically from the standpoint of an African American in America.

Despite heavy content, Hayes presented his work in a humorous and calm manner, exerting a very professional feel for the entire event. Hayes was open to answer any questions pertaining to advice for up-and-coming writers, poets and authors in the crowd.

One question made Hayes give advice on how one should go about their writing process.

“I would say it would be better to live your life writing terribly every day rather than have a little period of [of time] doing something great,” Hayes said.

People were able to purchase two of Hayes books at a table outside of the event. At the same table, Hayes sat signing books and giving more advice to anyone looking to ask any questions about writing and poetry. This formed a very long line but many still stayed which shows just how much respect Haye’s received from the audience.

Hayes said he wanted to inspire all kinds of people, even those who couldn’t exactly relate to the poetry itself.

“I learned that people have different perspectives on everything. As a white male, I don’t see the same things as him, but can understand his problems because through the writing he makes it very clear,” student Clark Shulfer said.