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.
Hartsville, SC (Vocus) November 18, 2010
Coker College alumnus, Terrance Hayes class of 1994, has received the 2010 National Book Award for Poetry. Hayes received this most prestigious award Wednesday night at the 61st National Book Awards Benefit Dinner and Ceremony at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City.
Hayes’ award-winning book, Lighthead, is his fourth collection of poetic works. According to the National Book Foundation, “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.”
"Hayes’s fourth book puts invincibly restless wordplay at the service of strong emotions," a New York Times review stated in April.
Hayes graduated from Coker in 1994, where he was a standout student-athlete excelling in the classroom and on the basketball court as a member of the Cobra men’s team. A talented and gifted writer, Hayes said he was exposed to ideas and subjects at Coker that continue to fuel his poems.
“Through his numerous accomplishments, Terrance Hayes has become an extraordinary example of how Coker’s approach to the liberal arts provides the foundation for personal and professional success,” said Coker President Dr. Robert Wyatt. “He has made his alma mater proud by once again being recognized for literary excellence on a national platform.”
Hayes’ previous poetry collection, Wind in a Box, was named one of the Best 100 Books of 2006 by Publishers Weekly. His other books of poetry are Hip Logic, which won the National Poetry Series Open Competition and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award, and Muscular Music, which won the Kate Tufts Discovery Award. His other honors include a Pushcart Prize, three Best American Poetry selections, a Whiting Writers Award, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and a Guggenheim Fellowship.
Currently, he is a professor of creative writing at Carnegie Mellon University and lives with his family in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Coker College readies undergraduates for personal and professional success through a distinctive four-year program that emphasizes a practical application of the liberal arts as well as hands-on and discussion-based learning within and beyond the classroom. Coker is ranked among the “Best Colleges” in the South by U.S. News & World Report as well as The Princeton Review. Located in Hartsville, S.C., Coker is within two hours of the cultural, financial and recreational resources of Charlotte, Columbia, Charleston and Myrtle Beach.