Quote of the Day: Be a genius of you. Terrance Hayes, poet and MacArthur Grant Recipient. He is also a professor at the University of Pittsburgh. I attended this event because he is the poet hero of a young man named Jake Bankers, who said, “His poems will soon be in every English anthology.” I wanted to see who this poet/genius was who got an 18-year-old young man excited about poetry.
Terrance Hayes is a poet and a musician and visual artist. He also has an easy sense of humor that appealed to the crowd at Central Lakes College this past Friday, October 23, 2015. The young people seemed to get most of his pop culture references and enjoyed his banter with the audience. After the reading, they were lined up down the hallway to buy his most recent collection of poetry, How to be Drawn, and have him sign their copy. I noticed that Jake had two copies in his hand. It is always a thrill to meet someone who’s work you admire. Hayes doesn’t want to be locked into a certain brand or style. He says that he likes his work to have twists and swerves. He strives to constantly be experimenting and evolving as an artist. The music artists that he most admires – Prince, Thelonious Monk, and Kendrick Lamar – all do that. They don’t sound just one way. They have a range, then they stretch out of it.
The message I heard was, “Be the best You that you can be.” What is genius anyway? Who decides what defines it? Don’t follow the crowd, the latest trend, or even the “voice” that you’ve created. Follow your creative inspiration and don’t be afraid to try new styles, art, or activities.
Go. Create. Inspire!
Journaling Prompt: What’s something new that you’d like to try? It can be in an area that you already create. For instance, you’re a writer, now try a genre that you haven’t written in before.