New York Times best-selling author Ross Gay will kickstart the Spring 2023 Barbara & David Zalaznick Reading Series on Thurs., Feb. 9 at 5 p.m. in the Rhodes-Rawlings Auditorium, G70 Klarman Hall. A poet and essayist, Gay will read from his most recent collection of essays, “Inciting Joy” and other works. The Reading Series is sponsored by the Creative Writing Program in the Department of Literatures in English in the College of Arts & Sciences (A&S).
When asked why people who attend his readings misread his perspective on joy, in a 2022 interview with “The Nation” Gay said, “There are plenty of people who think that joy is not serious. But I’m arguing for joy as a rigorous emotion that excludes no one and the repression of which is a kind of alienation, a suggestion that we ought to be alienated from one another.”
Gay is the author of four books of poetry: “Against Which,” “Bringing the Shovel Down;” “Be Holding,” which won the PEN American Literary Jean Stein Award, and “Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude,” which received the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award and the 2016 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. His first collection of essays, “The Book of Delights,” was released in 2019 and was a New York Times bestseller.
The Feb. 9 reading will be free and open to the public with a reception and book signing will follow. Attendees can purchase copies of “Inciting Joy” and other books by Gay after the reading, courtesy of Buffalo Street Books.
Barbara and David Zalaznick’s generous endowment makes it possible for the Creative Writing Program to invite several writers to campus each semester. Invited authors have ranged from debut poets and novelists to nationally and internationally renowned writers.
Masks are encouraged but not required currently on the Cornell campus. For the latest university public health guidelines visit covid.cornell.edu.
For more information, visit english.cornell.edu/zalaznick or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Amanda Brockner is MFA Graduate Program Coordinator in the Department of Literatures in English in the College of Arts and Sciences.