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Love letters to a past and future assassin

Terrance Hayes.
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter
Terrance Hayes.

"In a second I'll tell you how little writing rescues." That promise, from the opening poem of Terrance Hayes' "American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin", is only partially kept. 

The poems in the book are in constant motion. They shuttle back and forth between Emmett Till and Maxine Waters, slavery and hip hop, the nation's future and the past it can't bear to look at. 

The assassin of the title is sometimes an antagonist. But just as often, the assassin's face looks back at the reader from the mirror. Terrance Hayes is a poet, painter, Scrabble player, and National Book Award winner. He joined Bill Radke for a conversation about politics, poetry, and the blackness at the heart of America.

Hear Terrance Hayes read a sonnet:

A post shared by KUOW Public Radio (@kuow) on Jul 5, 2018 at 6:22pm PDT

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