Lighthead By Terrance Hayes Review!



Lighthead (2010) by Terrance Hayes is another wonderful collection of poetry by the poet and was deservedly the winner of the National Book Award for poetry in 2010. It is Hayes’ fourth poetry collection.


There is forty-two poems to read here spread across four sections. The poetry is full of depth and is visually painted in a very lyrical way. Wonderfully conversationally, the poems take on huge topics like racism and patriotism. My favourite poem is The Avocado which speaks about racism in America during the post-Civil Rights Black Power period. I also really like the pecha kucha style which is inspired by a type of Japanese slideshow. That was really original and inventive. Two of the things I absolutely adore about Hayes’ work is how accessible and down-to-earth it is and how it has so much depth and passion. It’s meaningful and down-to-earth and that is exactly the type of writing I love so this collection totally works for me. Also the storytelling element I adore too.

The collection is very poignant but also has a lot of humour in it. It is a great balance. Hayes’ sense of humour does shine through but never to the detriment of showing how serious the issues present are. For many authors, finding that balance is probably difficult but it seems effortless here. I don’t obviously know how effortless the process was for the poet but it appeared effortless. Very natural. There is an originality to the poetry and I love the way the poems seem to be written from the heart and are written with great honesty. There is definitely a slice-of-life feel to the book with the good, the bad, the inbetween and the downright ugly at times of life present and every bit of it is done amazingly and fearlessly and I absolutely love that.

A must-read. Amazing.


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How To Be Drawn By Terrance Hayes Review!

How to Be Drawn


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.


To get your free copy of How to Be Drawn by Terrance Hayes go to:

For more about Terrance Hayes and his work go to: