American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin



Ben Fountain Beautiful Country Burn Again

Event Canceled: Terrance Hayes and Ben Fountain

Friday April 12, 2019
07:00 pm

Tags: Event

Wednesday, April 10 — Unfortunately, this has been canceled due to unavoidable circumstances. We apologize for any inconvenience or disappointment this may cause. We do have a number of exciting events coming up and look forward to hosting you at The Center soon!

If you are a ticket holder, please check your email for a message about refunds or transfers to upcoming events.


In a sweeping work of reportage set over the course of 2016, Ben Fountain'Beautiful Country Burn Again recounts a surreal year of politics and an exploration of the third American existential crisis.

Twice before in its history, the United States has been faced with a crisis so severe it was forced to reinvent itself to survive: first, the struggle over slavery, culminating in the Civil War, and second, the Great Depression, which led to President Roosevelt’s New Deal and the establishment of America as a social-democratic state. In a sequence of essays that excavate the past while laying bare the political upheaval of 2016, Fountain argues that the United States may be facing a third such crisis, one that will require a “burning” of the old order as America attempts to remake itself.



Hayes and Fountain will read from their work and discuss the crises our nation faces, and what it can take from the past in order to meet a more positive future.



Photo by Kathy RyanTERRANCE HAYES is a poet, who has received praise and awards throughout his career. His first book, Muscular Music, won a Whiting Writers Award and the Kate Tufts Discovery Award. Hip Logic was a National Poetry Series selection and a finalist for both the Los Angeles Time Book Award and the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets. Wind In a Box was named a Hurston-Wright Legacy Award finalist, How to Be Drawn received the 2016 NAACP Image Award for Poetry, and Lighthead was a 2010 National Book Award winner.

 Hayes served as the 2017-2018 poetry editor for  guest editor of His most recent manuscripts are American Sonnets for My Past And Future Assassin (Penguin, 2018), and To Float In The Space Between: Drawings and Essays in Conversation with Etheridge Knight (Wave, 2018).



Photo by Thorne Anderson HorzBEN FOUNTAIN was born in Chapel Hill and grew up in the tobacco country of eastern North Carolina. A former practicing attorney, he is the author of Brief Encounters with Che Guevara, which won the PEN/Hemingway Award and the Barnes & Noble Discover Award for Fiction, and the novel Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, winner of the National Book Critics' Circle Award and a finalist for the National Book Award. Billy Lynn was adapted into a feature film directed by three-time Oscar winner Ang Lee, and his work has been translated into over twenty languages. His series of essays published in The Guardian on the 2016 U.S. presidential election was subsequently nominated by the editors of The Guardian for the Pulitzer Prize in Commentary. He lives in Dallas, Texas with his wife of 32 years, Sharon Fountain.