Correspondence between Terrance Hayes and Paul Mennes

by    /  October 26, 2011  / No comments

The Post Gazette Covers City Of Asylum Pittsburgh’s Exchange

For the first time this summer, City of Asylum created an exchange with Passa Porta, a literary organization in Brussels. It brought Paul Mennes, a Belgian writer, here and delivered Terrance Hayes, a National Book Award poet from Pittsburgh, to Brussels.

The two men exchanged letters about their experiences, and Henry Reese, co-founder of City of Asylum Pittsburgh, shared them with the Post-Gazette. Each writer anticipated that the other would be disappointed with his city.

“Just as you feared I’d find Brussels provincial, I feared you’d find Pittsburgh small and uninteresting,” Mr. Hayes wrote after their meeting.

“I didn’t expect much of Pittsburgh,” wrote Mr. Mennes. “The city has a reputation. … Someone described your home as ‘hell without a lid.’

The letters were published Friday in a Belgian newspaper, Standaard der Letteren and  in the Post-Gazette online version.

Read also Diana Nelson Jones’ City Walkabout published yesterday in the Post-Gazette printed version.

About the Author

Sampsonia Way is an online magazine sponsored by City of Asylum/Pittsburgh that seeks to protect and advocate for writers who may be endangered, to educate the public about threats to writers and literary expression, and to create a community in which endangered writers thrive and literary culture is a valued part of life.

View all articles by