In How to Be Drawn, his daring fifth collection, Terrance Hayes explores how we see and are seen. While many of these poems bear the clearest imprint yet of Hayes’s background as a visual artist, they do not strive to describe art so much as inhabit it. Thus, one poem contemplates the principle of blind contour drawing while others are inspired by maps, graphs, and assorted artists. The formal and emotional versatilities that distinguish Hayes’s award-winning poetry are unified by existential focus. Simultaneously complex and transparent, urgent and composed, How to Be Drawn is a mesmerizing achievement.
Radically inventive, politically charged, and beautiful, Terrance Hayes's How To Be Drawn is also highly accessible. Yes, there are poems with charts, lists, real and imaginary maps. And, yes, there are poems that are homages to old almanacs and TV shows and musicians. This book can teach us how to be drawn but also how to live. And how to cry out in the night: "Please, please, please, please, please, Honey, please don't go."