On Tuesday, October 18, author Ross Gay will read from his award-winning book Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude, which received the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award and the 2016 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, and is now the National Endowment for the Arts’ (NEA) Big Read. Poet Patrick Rosal, Professor of English and co-director of the Institute for the Study of Global Racial Justice, will host a discussion with Ross Gay about his work.

This free event will take place on Tuesday, October 18, at 4:30 p.m. in the Campus Center’s Multi-Purpose Room. Registration is required. Questions should be directed to Noreen Scott Garrity


Ross Gay is the author of four books of poetry: Against WhichBringing the Shovel Down; Be Holding, winner of the PEN American Literary Jean Stein Award; and Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude, winner of 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. His new collection of essays, Inciting Joy, will be released by Algonquin in October of 2022.  


Patrick Rosal is the author of five full-length poetry collections including The Last Thing: New and Selected Poems, winner of the William Carlos Williams Book Award from the Poetry Society of America. He currently serves as Campus Co-director of the Institute for the Study of Global Racial Justice at Rutgers-Camden, where he coordinates the programming series Occasions for Gathering and Quilting Water. He is also Professor of English teaching courses on poetry, performance, improvisation, collaboration, and community art.


Rutgers-Camden Center for the Arts (RCCA) will host an avid book club for Camden residents as it participates in its 10th National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Big Read. The two-month book celebration – expected to run from October to early December 2022 – will feature a series of events centering on Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude, a poetry collection by poet Ross Gay. Events include a lecture series, art installation sites, storytelling programs, and more.

“Ross Gay’s poetry collection celebrates life and goodness and that which nourishes us, fleetingly and forever, through love and loss,” said Noreen Scott Garrity, director of the RCCA. “He touches on everyday living and notices what we often take for granted. We looking forward to welcoming guests to share in this enjoyable literary experience.”

Other RCCA Big Read programs this fall included lectures, discussions, artist residencies, collaborative installation projects, and exhibitions, as well as family-friendly performances by RCCA storyteller-in-residence since 2004, Tall Tales with Kyle J. Stories for this age group focus on family, joy and everyday life. Kyle Jakubowski is a certified language arts teacher in the public schools. RCCA will effectively utilize companion books, including “Black Boy Joy” by Kwame Mbalia, “Daniel’s Good Day” by Micha Archer, and “A Place Inside Me: A Poem to Heal the Heart” by Zetta Elliott.

Launched in 2006, the NEA Big Read aims to inspiring meaningful conversations, artistic responses, and new discoveries and connections in participating communities. In partnership with Arts Midwest, the NEA supports programming centered around one of 15 different contemporary books. Participating communities also receive high-quality, free-of-charge educational materials to supplement each title.

Rutgers-Camden Center for the Arts’ Fall 2022 Big Read program is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts Big Read program, a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest; the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts; and the Rutgers-Camden Division of Diversity, Inclusion and Civic Engagement.