Everybody Reads 2021

Author Ross Gay, photo copyright Natasha Komoda
Everybody Reads 2021 celebrates Ross Gay's The Book of Delights

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.

Cover of The Book of Delights
How to participate

Through a shared reading experience, we will discuss issues that matter, learn from each other and promote greater understanding.

Patrons can check out The Book of Delights from the library. The downloadable audiobook is readily available now, thanks to the generous support of The Library Foundation. More copies of the books will arrive in February 2021 at all neighborhood libraries. The library encourages readers to share extra copies with friends, coworkers and neighbors.

Discuss and learn.
Beginning in February 2021, there will be opportunities to attend online events and discussions. Watch this page for more information.

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

Tickets are available from Literary Arts.

High school educators can apply for multiple copies of The Book of Delights to provide their students. Please submit your application before February 1, 2021.

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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