Poetry Reading featuring Terrance Hayes and Simone White: March 17

Pictured from left to right: Terrance Hayes and Simone White.

A poetry reading featuring:

Terrance Hayes

and Simone White

in conversation

with Chiyuma Elliott

Wednesday, March 17, 2021 

4:00-5:30pm PDT

This event took place on the ARC YouTube Channel. Watch the video recording here.

This event was funded by Engaging the Senses Foundation, and co-sponsored by the English department, the Black Studies Collaboratory, and the Center for Race & Gender at UC Berkeley.

The Arts Research Center welcomed two of America’s most compelling poets, Terrance Hayes and Simone White, on Wednesday, March 17, 2021 at 4pm PDT. This event was part of ARC’s Poetry and the Senses program, generously funded by Engaging the Senses Foundation. Following their individual readings, they were in conversation with UC Berkeley professor and Poetry & the Senses board member Chiyuma Elliott. This event was live streamed on ARC’s YouTube channel, and live captioned. All of ARC’s programs are free and open to the public.

During spring 2021, ARC celebrated poetry and explore the theme of emerge/ncy: voices to carry with us in times of crisis, with group readings every month, and short flash readings released online. This semester-long festival of poetry was generously funded by Engaging the Senses Foundation, and is part of ARC’s Poetry & the Senses initiative.

Terrance Hayes is the author of six poetry collections: American Sonnets for My Past And Future Assassin, a finalist for the National Book Award, National Book Critics Circle Award, and TS Eliot Prize; How to Be Drawn; Lighthead, winner of the 2010 National Book Award for poetry; Muscular Music, recipient of the Kate Tufts Discovery Award; Hip Logic, winner of the 2001 National Poetry Series, and Wind in a Box. His prose collection, To Float In The Space Between: Drawings and Essays in Conversation with Etheridge Knight, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and winner of the Pegasus Award for Poetry Criticism. Hayes has received the MacArthur Foundation Genius Award, two Pushcart selections, eight Best American Poetry selections, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and the Guggenheim Foundation. His poems have appeared in literary journals and magazines including The New Yorker, Poetry, The American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, Fence, The Kenyon Review, Jubilat, and Harvard Review. He is a professor of English at New York University.

Simone White is the author of or, on being the other woman (forthcoming from Duke University Press in 2021), Dear Angel of Death (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2018), Of Being Dispersed (Futurepoem, 2016), and House Envy of All the World (Factory School, 2010), the poetry chapbook, Unrest (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2013), and the collaborative poem/painting chapbook, Dolly (with Kim Thomas) (Q Ave, 2008). Her poetry and prose have been featured in Artforum, e-flux, Harper’s Magazine, BOMB Magazine, Chicago Review, The New York Times Book Review, and Harriet: The Blog. Her honors include a 2021 Creative Capital Award, a 2017 Whiting Award in Poetry, Cave Canem Foundation fellowships, and recognition as a New American Poet for the Poetry Society of America in 2013. A graduate of Wesleyan University, she holds a JD from Harvard Law School, an MFA from the New School, and a PhD in English from CUNY Graduate Center. She is the Stephen M. Gorn Family Assistant Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania and serves on the writing faculty of the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College. She lives in Brooklyn.

Chiyuma Elliott is Assistant Professor of African American Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. Her scholarly work and teaching focus on poetry and poetics, visual culture, and intellectual history from the 1920s to the present. Before joining the Berkeley faculty, Elliott was a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford, and Assistant Professor of English, Creative Writing, and African American Studies at the University of Mississippi. A Cave Canem Alumni Fellow, she has also received fellowships from the American Philosophical Society, the James Irvine Foundation, and the Vermont Studio Center. She earned her M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Warren Wilson College and her Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. Elliott has published three books of poetry: At Most (2020), Vigil (2017), and California Winter League (2015) and her creative work has appeared in the African American Review, Callaloo, the Collagist, the Notre Dame Review, the PN Review, and other journals.

This event was part of the Arts Research Center’s Poetry & the Senses program, a two-year initiative (Jan 2020 – Dec 2021) that explores the relevance and urgency of lyrical making and storytelling in times of political crisis, and the value of engaging the senses as an act of care, mindfulness, and resistance. Funded by the Engaging the Senses Foundation.

Image credit: Simone White by Dana Scruggs.