Carnegie Mellon University
May 12, 2009

Terrance Hayes Wins Guggenheim Fellowship

Creative Writing Professor Terrance Hayes is among the 180 artists, scientists and scholars awarded a 2009 Guggenheim Fellowship in the United States and Canada competition, chosen from more than 3,000 candidates. One of only nine poets selected, Hayes plans to use his fellowship to complete a new collection of poetry that he is developing based on the Japanese presentation format Pecha Kucha. In a Pecha Kucha presentation, each speaker has six minutes and 40 seconds to narrate 20 images for 20 seconds each.
"Last year, I was invited to speak at the Carnegie Mellon School of Architecture's graduation, which was done in Pecha Kucha. They asked people from different backgrounds to talk about a common topic - open systems," said Hayes. "It was exhilarating to witness different approaches to language, fed with design elements, become one whole unified voice that described open systems."
For the graduation ceremony, Hayes took verses from famous poems and used them to create a single collage. "I loved the result of putting together intense and powerful pieces of separate poems and creating a new and unique poem," he said. "Shortly after, I began doing it with my own work."
Hayes also will use his Guggenheim Fellowship to travel to Japan to study the use of other Pecha Kucha presentations.
Since its inception in 1925, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation has granted nearly $275 million in fellowships. For a complete list of the 2009 Guggenheim Fellowship winners, visit