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Ross Gay

Friday, October 25, 2024
7:30pm Pacific Time
Venue: Sydney Goldstein Theater

The writer Ross Gay has become synonymous with joy. In his essays and poetry, Gay asks his readers to find delight and gratitude in the most difficult of circumstances and, in the process, he brings his overflowing kindness and relentless eye for details to community gardens, the lives of Black people, the artistry of basketball, and much more.

Ross Gay is a writer with a mission: help readers explore the beautiful complexities of joy, gratitude, and delight. His poetry, in Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude and Be Holding, and his essays, in the The Book of Delights and Inciting Joy, overflow with his unique vision of all the ways we are connected to each other and the natural world. Gay has been awarded the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, and a PEN American Literary Award. A professor at Indiana University, Gay enacts the same loves he writes about: basketball and gardening. Gay’s most recent collection is a book length poem dedicated to the basketball icon Dr. J, Julius Irving, and Gay is a founding member of the Bloomington Community Orchard, a non-profit focused on foot justice. Gay’s ceaseless focus on the celebration of joy has driven many contemporary writers to follow his example by attempting to find the gaiety of living, even when that living is painful. His most recent essay collection, The Book of (More) Delights, is full of lyric, genre-defying insights into grandma’s cookies, adult braces, geese tending to goslings, and Black joy.

 The poet and multi-genre artist Aracelis Girmay is the author of Kingdom Animalia, a finalist of the National Book Critics Circle Award, along with collage and picture books. She was the editor of How to Carry Water: Selected Poems of Lucille Clifton and So We Can Know: Writers of Color on Pregnancy, Loss, Abortion, and Birth. Girmay is currently a professor at Stanford University.