Robert Hayden

About Robert Hayden

Who is it?: Poet, Essayist, Educator
Birth Day: August 04, 1913
Birth Place: Detroit, United States
Occupation: Poet, essayist
Alma mater: Wayne State University (1936) University of Michigan (1944)
Notable works: Heart Shape in the Dust, A Ballad of Remembrance
Notable awards: Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress (US Poet Laureate), 1976-78
Spouse: Erma Inez Morris

Robert Hayden

Robert Hayden was born on August 04, 1913 in Detroit, United States, is Poet, Essayist, Educator. Robert Hayden was a famous American poet, essayist, and educator. He is best remembered for his book “Ballad of Remembrance”, for which he was awarded the grand prize for poetry at the First World Festival of Negro Arts in Dakar, Senegal. In 1975, Hayden became the Fellow of the academy of American Poets. In the subsequent year, he was appointed as the Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress. He was the first African American holder of that post. Hayden also held the post of a professor of English at the University of Michigan. His significant works included “Heart-Shape in the Dust”, “The Lion and the Archer” (1948), “Figures of Time: Poems” (1955), “A Ballad of Remembrance” (1962). Some of his famous poems are, “Those Winter Sundays”, “The Whipping”, “Runagate”, and “Frederick Douglass”.
Robert Hayden is a member of Writers

Does Robert Hayden Dead or Alive?

As per our current Database, Robert Hayden has been died on 25 February 1980(1980-02-25) (aged 66)\nAnn Arbor, Michigan, U.S..

🎂 Robert Hayden - Age, Bio, Faces and Birthday

When Robert Hayden die, Robert Hayden was 66 years old.

Popular As Robert Hayden
Occupation Writers
Age 66 years old
Zodiac Sign Virgo
Born August 04, 1913 (Detroit, United States)
Birthday August 04
Town/City Detroit, United States
Nationality United States

🌙 Zodiac

Robert Hayden’s zodiac sign is Virgo. According to astrologers, Virgos are always paying attention to the smallest details and their deep sense of humanity makes them one of the most careful signs of the zodiac. Their methodical approach to life ensures that nothing is left to chance, and although they are often tender, their heart might be closed for the outer world. This is a sign often misunderstood, not because they lack the ability to express, but because they won’t accept their feelings as valid, true, or even relevant when opposed to reason. The symbolism behind the name speaks well of their nature, born with a feeling they are experiencing everything for the first time.

🌙 Chinese Zodiac Signs

Robert Hayden was born in the Year of the Ox. Another of the powerful Chinese Zodiac signs, the Ox is steadfast, solid, a goal-oriented leader, detail-oriented, hard-working, stubborn, serious and introverted but can feel lonely and insecure. Takes comfort in friends and family and is a reliable, protective and strong companion. Compatible with Snake or Rooster.

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Famous Quotes:

Reclaim now, now renew the vision of

a human world where godliness
is possible and man
is neither gook nigger honkey wop or kike
but man

                           permitted to be man.



Because he was nearsighted and slight of stature, he was often ostracized by his peers. In response, Hayden read voraciously, developing both an ear and an eye for transformative qualities in literature. He attended Detroit City College later called Wayne State University with a major in Spanish and minor in English, and left in 1936 during the Great Depression, one credit short of finishing his degree, to go to work for the Works Progress Administration Federal Writers' Project, where he researched black history and folk culture.


Leaving the Federal Writers' Project in 1938, Hayden married Erma Morris in 1940 and published his first volume, Heart-Shape in the Dust (1940). He enrolled at the University of Michigan in 1941 and won a Hopwood Award there. Raised as a Baptist, he followed his wife into the Bahá'í Faith during the early 1940s, and raised a daughter, Maia, in the religion. Hayden became one of the best-known Bahá'í poets. Erma Hayden was a Pianist and Composer and served as supervisor of music for Nashville public schools.


In pursuit of a master's degree, Hayden studied under W. H. Auden, who directed his attention to issues of poetic form, technique, and artistic discipline. Auden's influence may be seen in the "technical pith of Hayden's verse." After finishing his degree in 1942, then teaching several years at Michigan, Hayden went to Fisk University in 1946, where he remained for twenty-three years, returning to Michigan in 1969 to complete his teaching career.


The impact of Euro-American innovation on Hayden's poetry and also his continuous assertions that he needed to be viewed as an "American poet" as opposed to a "black poet" prompted much feedback of him as an abstract "Uncle Tom" by African American critics during the 1960s. Unexpectedly, African American history, contemporary black figures, for Example, Malcolm X, and African American communities, especially Hayden's native Paradise Valley, were the subjects of a significant number of his poems.


On 7 April 1966, Hayden's A Ballad of Remembrance was awarded, by unanimous vote, the Grand Prize for Poetry at the first World Festival of Negro Arts in Dakar, Senegal. The festival had over ten thousand people from thirty-seven nations in attendance. However, on 22 April 1966 Hayden was denounced at a Fisk University conference of black Writers by a group of young protest poets led by Melvin Tolson for refusing to identify himself as a black poet.


Hayden was elected to the American Academy of Poets in 1975. His most famous poem is Those Winter Sundays, which deals with the memory of fatherly love and loneliness. It ranks among the most anthologized American poems of the 20th century. He declined the position later called United States Poet Laureate previously, accepted the appointment for 1976–1977 during America's Bicentennial, and again in 1977–1978 though his health was failing then. He was awarded successive honorary degrees by Brown University (1976) and Fisk, (1978). In 1977 he was interviewed for television in Los Angeles on At One With by Keith Berwick. In January 1980 Hayden was among those gathered to be honored by President Jimmy Carter and his wife at a White House reception celebrating American poetry. He served for a decade as an Editor of the Bahá'í journal World Order.


In 2012 the U.S. Postal Service issued a pane of stamps featuring ten great Twentieth Century American Poets, including Hayden.


Hayden’s influences included Wylie, Cullen, Dunbar, Hughes, Bontemps, Keats, Auden and Yeats. Hayden’s work often addressed the plight of African Americans, usually using his former home of Paradise Valley slum as a backdrop, as he does in the poem "Heart-Shape in the Dust". Hayden’s work made ready use of black vernacular and folk speech. Hayden wrote political poetry as well, including a sequence on the Vietnam War.

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