Screen Porch

Get to Know Ross Gay


Elisabeth Moss

Ross Gay is an award-winning writer and a professor of English living in Bloomington, Indiana. His recent books, The Book of Delights, Inciting Joy, and The Book of (More) Delights, center around themes of joy, pleasure, and gratitude, particularly as they are inextricably twined with the experiences of sorrow and grief and our drive to confront injustice. The Porch is thrilled to welcome him to Nashville in Spring 2024 as part of our Visiting Writers Series!

Gay will appear in conversation with award-winning poet Tiana Clark at our annual fundraiser, DELIGHT: Celebrating Our First Decade, on April 5th at 7 p.m. You can purchase tickets to the fundraiser here and attend Gay's free reading and signing at the Nashville Public Library 's Main Branch on April 6th at 3 p.m.

Not only is Gay an acclaimed writer, but he is an avid gardener, a former college athlete, and a founding board member of the Bloomington Community Orchard. We hope you'll explore the following readings, interviews, and songs, a selection we've compiled both as a brief introduction to Gay’s work and to set the tone for his appearance in Nashville. Enjoy! 

Get to Know Ross Gay

The Book of Delights Excerpts: “Marfa Lights” and “Tomato On Board” 

Poem: “To the Fig Tree on 9th and Christian”

Interview: On Being with Krista Tippett

“Joy has nothing to do with ease. Joy has everything to do with the fact that we’re all going to die.” In this 2019 interview with Krista Tippett, Gay discusses how to approach justice from a standpoint of joy even amidst sorrow. Gay reads a sample of his work, shares about his community garden in Bloomington, and looks at the meaning behind the word “delight.”

Interview: NPR

“Delight maybe is more occasional [...]. Joy, it seems to me, is something that is always there.” Gay sits down with Brittany Luse to discuss finding joy in the mess of life and the importance of gathering around what we love more than what we hate. 

Songs of Joy: A DELIGHT playlist, brought to you by The Porch

Ranging from Bon Iver-backed poetry readings to folk anthems, these songs embody Gay's work by expressing gratitude lyrically and melodically. Langhorne Slim, a Nashville songwriter who will be performing at The Porch's 10 year anniversary fundraiser, is featured.

Make sure you reserve your ticket for April 5th at Green Door Gourmet to hear Ross Gay in conversation with Tiana Clark.


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