How to Be Drawn
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How to Be Drawn
How to Be Drawn
How To Be Drawn.JPG
AuthorTerrance Hayes
Cover artistAlison Forner
CountryUnited States
PublisherPenguin Group
Publication date
Pages112 pp (paperback)

How to Be Drawn is a poetry collection by Terrance Hayes. The poems take on themes of racial individuality, social prejudices, and personal losses in everyday life. The main focus of the poems are self care for an individual's image or personal hardships. The collection was a finalist for several awards. It was first published in 2015 by the Penguin Group.[1]

Theme and style

The major themes that coincide in this collection are those of racial and social injustices. Other themes throughout this work are violence, family troubles, and everyday personal loss. Hayes surveys, throughout this collection, how people see and how people are seen by others. The collection draws inspiration from other works of art, from novels to music to games. In "How to Be Drawn to Trouble", the poem features lyrics from James Brown to explore the pressures of matrimonial and familial hungers. In the poem "How to Draw an Invisible Man", Hayes analyzes what it means to be invisible but also visible in America.[2] Trevor Ketner, writing in The Rumpus, said that it "echoes the cultural critique of race relations in America" he found in Ralph Ellison's work Invisible Man.[3]

The style used mostly throughout the collection is free verse, meaning there is no set rhyme scheme or stanzaic and metrical structure. The diction used throughout the collection is normal and Hayes uses word play to convey the message that he has for each of his poems, instead of drawing away using rhythm or rhyme.[4]



How to Be Drawn was a finalist for the 2015 National Book Award for Poetry and the National Book Critics Circle Award. It was the winner of the 2016 NAACP Image Award for Poetry.[1][6]


  1. ^ a b "How to Be Drawn by Terrance Hayes | Books". Retrieved .
  2. ^ "How to Be Drawn". Harvard Review. Retrieved .
  3. ^ Trevor Ketner. "How To Be Drawn By Terrance Hayes". The Rumpus. Retrieved .
  4. ^ "How To Be Drawn by Terrance Hayes". Retrieved .
  5. ^ Hayes, Terrance (2015-03-31). How to Be Drawn. Penguin. ISBN 9780698183193.
  6. ^ Hayes, Terrance (2001-01-30). "Terrance Hayes - Poet". Retrieved .

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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