Ross Gay is the author of three books: Against Which (2006); Bringing the Shovel Down(2011); and Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude (2015), winner of the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award and the 2016 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude was also a finalist for the 2015 National Book Award in Poetry and nominated for an NAACP Image Award.
Ross is the co-author, with Aimee Nezhukumatathil, of the chapbook “Lace and Pyrite: Letters from Two Gardens” (2014), in addition to being co-author, with Richard Wehrenberg, Jr., of the chapbook, “River” (2014). He is a founding editor, with Karissa Chen and Patrick Rosal, of the online sports magazine Some Call it Ballin’, in addition to being an editor with the chapbook presses Q Avenue and Ledge Mule Press.
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 Writer’s Conference, and the Guggenheim Foundation. Ross teaches at Indiana University.
Ending the Estrangement
from my mother’s sadness, which was,
to me, unbearable, until,
it felt to me
not like what I thought it felt like
to her, and so felt inside myself—like death,
like dying, which I would almost
have rather done, though adding to her sadness
would rather die than do—
but, by sitting still, like what, in fact, it was—
a form of gratitude
which when last it came
drifted like a meadow lit by torches
of cardinal flower, one of whose crimson blooms,
when a hummingbird hovered nearby,
I slipped into my mouth
thereby coaxing the bird
to scrawl on my tongue
its heart’s frenzy, its fleet
with whom, with you, dear mother,
I now sing along.
Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude (2015)
Bringing the Shovel Down (2011)
Against Which (2006)
Ross Gay’s Website
Towards Something We’ve Always Known
Listen Now: Poet and Professor Ross Gay
The Pen Ten with Ross Gay
Interview with NBCC Poetry Poetry Winner Ross Gay
Our Beautiful, Decrepit Selves: An Interview with Ross Gay