Everybody Reads 2021

Everybody Reads 2021 celebrates Ross Gay's The Book of Delights

Author Ross Gay, cover of The Book of Delights, photo copyright Natasha Komod

Ross Gay’s The Book of Delights is a collection of short essays written over the course of one year, from one birthday to another. Through these meditations on delight, the author directs our attention to the joys of Botan Rice Candy, a friend’s unabashed use of air quotes, pickup basketball games, and the overwhelming beauty of the natural world. While his writing is filled with joy and light, he also presents a clear-eyed view of the complexities and terrors of the world, including living in America as a Black man and losing loved ones. Says Gay of his year-long experiment, “It didn’t take me long to learn that the discipline or practice of writing these essays occasioned a kind of delight radar . . . Or maybe it was more like the development of a delight muscle. Something that implies that the more you study delight, the more delight there is to study.”

Ross Gay is the author of four books of poetry, and the winner of the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award and the 2016 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. He has received fellowships from Cave Canem, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and the Guggenheim Foundation. He holds an MFA in poetry from Sarah Lawrence College and a Ph.D. from Temple University. He teaches at Indiana University and writes about sports, music, art and other stuff he loves.

How to participate

Through a shared reading experience, we will discuss issues that matter, learn from each other and promote greater understanding. View the complete project guide. (PDF)

Pick up a copy of The Book of Delights  now from your library, while supplies last. Borrow the downloadable audiobook or e-book now, thanks to the generous support of The Library Foundation. More copies of the books will arrive in February 2021 at all neighborhood libraries.

Discuss and learn.
Beginning in February 2021, there will be opportunities to attend online events and discussions. See discussion guide and further reading.

Be inspired.
Ross Gay will speak at an online event on Thursday, April 8, 2021 at 6 pm.

Tickets are available from Literary Arts.

Everybody Reads 2021, a community reading project of Multnomah County Library, is made possible in part by gifts to The Library Foundation with author appearance made possible by Literary Arts.


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