Dr. Keith Green, Associate Professor of English, will deliver the National Endowed Arts (NEA) Big Read Lecture, “Can I kick it? Yes, you can: Mournful Joy in Ross Gay’s Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude” on Monday, November 7. This free event, sponsored by the Rutgers–Camden Center for the Arts, will take place at 11:30 a.m. in the Fine Arts Building’s Stedman Gallery. 

Registration is required. Please contact Noreen Scott Garrity for more information.  


Keith Green’s main research and teaching interests lie in African American literature, with more specific investments in the study of the antebellum era, self-referential writing, African-Native American literature, and slave narratives. He has delivered papers on Nat Turner, Harriet Jacobs, Henry Bibb, and William Wells Brown. His current book project, Not Just Slavery: African Americans Write Captivity Narratives, Too: 1816-1879, explores the various kinds of bondage and confinement–specifically Indian slavery, Barbary captivity, and state imprisonment–African Americans experienced and recounted in the nineteenth century.


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.


This program is funded by the NEA Big Read, 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.