Creative Writing

Poet Ross Gay to Give Buckner Keynote Reading on November 2

The Department of Creative Writing at UNCW is delighted to host award-winning poet Ross Gay, who will serve as the Buckner Keynote Reader for Writers’ Week 2017.

Gay will read at 7 p.m. on Thursday, November 2, in Dobo Hall 103.

Ross is the author of three books, including Catalogue of Unabashed Gratitude, winner of the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award and the 2016 Kingsley Tufts Award, as well as a finalist for the 2015 National Book Award. An avid gardener and enthusiastic collaborator, he is co-author, with poet Aimee Nezhukumatathil, of the chapbook Lace and Pyrite: Letters from Two Gardens. Ross is a founding board member of the Bloomington Community Orchard, a non-profit, free-fruit-for-all food justice and joy project. He has received fellowships from Cave Canem, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and the Guggenheim Foundation. He teaches at Indiana University.

The poet francine j. harris has written that reading Ross’s work “feels like the first time you open the window in spring. That first chilly air. The sun on the sill.” Scott Russell Sanders calls Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude a “bright book of life” in which “every page is dazzling.” These poems offer up “the taken-for-granted wonders that make life worth living, even in the face of death,” writes Evie Shockley.

Melissa Crowe, MFA Coordinator and co-director of this year’s Writers’ Week, says, “We’re so grateful that Ross will be among us, sharing his compassionate, celebratory, and elegiac poems with our students and the wider community. He has a well-deserved reputation as a truly kind human being and a dynamic, engaging, and joyful speaker—for all these reasons, we’d say his reading is a not-to-be-missed Writers’ Week event.” Faculty member and Ecotone editor Anna Lena Philips Bell agrees, “I’m delighted that Ross Gay will be visiting UNCW. His poems make a garden out of this troubled world, and I feel sad for anyone who has to miss his reading on Thursday evening. It will be incredible!”

We hope you’ll join us! All events are free and open to the public. A reception sponsored by the department will follow the talk.

For further information on UNCW’s programs and events in creative writing, please contact the Department of Creative Writing at 910.962.7063.