National Book Award Winner Terrance Hayes to Read at UConn as 58th Wallace Stevens Poet

The program’s first in-person event in five years will also include readings from student winners of the Wallace Stevens Poetry Contest

Terrance Hayes

Terrance Hayes. (Contributed photo)

MacArthur “Genius” and National Book Award-winning poet Terrance Hayes will visit UConn on March 27 for the 58th Wallace Stevens Poetry Program. A reception will begin at 6 p.m., and Hayes will read from his works at 7 p.m. at the Konover Auditorium of the Dodd Center.  

Student winners of the Wallace Stevens Poetry Contest will also read their work, and a book signing will take place after the reading. The event is free and open to the public.  

“We’re incredibly honored to have Terrance Hayes visit UConn for our first in-person event since 2019,” says Professor of English and Chair of the Wallace Stevens Poetry Committee Penelope Pelizzon.  

“The Wallace Stevens program is a world-class event that allows us to draw the most influential poets of our time, and gives students the chance to interact with and learn from these groundbreaking authors.”  

One of the most compelling voices in American poetry, Terrance Hayes has received fellowships from the MacArthur Foundation, Guggenheim Foundation, and Whiting Foundation, and is a professor of English at New York University. He is the author of seven poetry collections, including “American Sonnets for My Past And Future Assassin,” a finalist for the National Book Award, National Book Critics Circle Award, and TS Eliot Prize; “Lighthead,” winner of the 2010 National Book Award for poetry; “Muscular Music,” a recipient of the Kate Tufts Discovery Award; and “Hip Logic,” winner of the 2001 National Poetry Series.   

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. 

The Wallace Stevens Poetry Program began in 1964 to honor Modernist master poet Wallace Stevens. In the last half century, the Program has brought a roster of the most important national and international poets to Connecticut.  

Hayes’s visit is organized by the Department of English in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Funding is provided by the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, the UConn Humanities Institute, the African American Cultural Center, the English Department Speaker’s Fund, the Irish Studies Speaker’s Fund, and private individuals who donated generously through the 2023 UConn Gives Campaign.  

Hayes will also read for and meet with Windham High School students on March 28. 

Learn more about the 58th Wallace Stevens Poetry Program with Terrance Hayes