How to Be Drawn (2015) by Terrance Hayes is a wonderful poetry collection. The collection is the National Book Award-winning poet’s fifth collection and was the winner of the 2016 NAACP Image Award for Poetry.
The poetry in this collection is vivid and interesting throughout. I love the clever and innovative ways these poems are laid out. There is a police report and charts for example adding an extra level of visual interest to the written words. A really powerful read filled with poetry that has great storytelling in them as well as a mixture of a lyrical rhythm combined with an accessible, conversational tone. The book is split into three sections: Troubled Bodies, Invisible Souls and A Circling Mind. This collection speaks about many important issues like racial and social issues and injustices, police brutality, loss, violence, self-care and family problems. Written in free verse with excellent wordplay, the book has amazing poems from beginning to end.
My favourite is How to Draw an Invisible Man which talks about being made feel invisible. It is a very powerful and passionate write about racism and making people feel like they are not seen, heard or treated the same and the negative impact that can have upon people. Gorgeous job. A few other favourites of mine include How to Be Drawn to Trouble and the three parts of Portrait of Etheridge Knight in the Style of a Crime Report. I will definitely be checking out more work by this amazing poet.
Excellent. A must-read.
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