Miami Book Fair celebrates the twinning of loss and abundance as an opportunity for tenderness and joy with Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude, a poetry collection by poet, educator, and community gardener Ross Gay.
March 1 – April 30
This spring, Miami Book Fair encourages all South Floridians to read Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude, the critically acclaimed poetry collection by Ross Gay.
A poet, educator, and community gardener, Ross Gay tends to joy as one would an orchard—from seedlings to harvest, through all seasons of growth. In his collection, Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude, Gay demonstrates the practice of gratitude while never losing sight of the loss that animates it. Through 24 lyric poems, Ross Gay’s Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude offers a luminous exploration of death, life, and their many tides. Animated by what Gay has called the “discipline of gratitude,” the collection considers sorrow’s potential, grounded in the rhythms and abundance of the natural world: the compost that gives way to rich soil, the decay that reveals seeds, the branches that must be trimmed to make room for new growth.
Though suffering and sorrow wend their way through each poem, adopting various guises, they are met everywhere by a commitment to this cycle of transformation. Gay sees the twinning of loss and abundance as an astonishing opportunity for tenderness and joy, and the poems in Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude are intimate, conversational. Throughout the collection, Gay addresses his readers directly, as an old friend might, and invites them to observe the gentle, loving labor of bees; to taste sweet fruit-flesh; to smell sweet potato biscuits frying in coconut oil; to stay awhile and sip honeyed tea; to leave, warm and fed, when they are ready to go; to know they will be missed.
Ross Gay is the author of four books of poetry: Against Which; Bringing 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, was released by Algonquin in October of 2022.
2023 Big Read Miami programs take place either in-person or online. Please check event details for more info.
Miami Book Fair invites you to practice what Ross Gay has called “the discipline of gratitude.” What or whom are you grateful for? Observe the abundance that exists around us—the gentle, loving labor of bees; the sound of your best friend’s laughter, waft of sweet potato biscuits frying in coconut oil; that first sip of honeyed tea—and then really take note.
Write a short note of gratitude for someone or something. This can take any brief form, such as a short poem, flash fiction, micro-essay, even a single sentence. If you’d like, snap a photo or doodle of the object of your gratitude to include with your submission. Gratitude notes will be collected at all in-person Big Read Miami events or can be submitted online at the link below. Select Notes will be published in a limited edition zine.
A guided writing prompt with a twist.
Because writing is thirsty work.
Have a drink. Write a story. Have another drink. Write a better story.
Miami Book Fair presents First Draft, a series of informal writing events that turn happy hours into great stories.
You’re inspired. But you’re also thirsty. Bring your own drink and log in for a guided writing prompt. …
Join us for this year’s Big Read Miami kick-off with “Thank You Azalea, Seagrape Tree, and Sabal Palm,” an exhibit of Florida nature paintings by Penny Thurer
After a multi-decade career in cultural programs management, Penny Thurer, now 81, retired and returned to her first love: painting. She uses the mediums of pastels and acrylics to reflect the vibrancy of Florida’s natural environment. …
Folk herbalist Kristina Napoles will share her approach to herbal support for whole health. Using a holistic approach, Kristina will explain how herbs support health and vitality, connecting the practical use of plants with the more spiritual aspects of accessing their life force and energy to enhance our connection to the natural world and achieve a more balanced emotional state.
Kristina practices herbalism based on traditional and empirical methods. …
Join us for a discussion of this year’s title, Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude, an award-winning poetry collection by poet, educator, and community gardener Ross Gay. A program of the National Endowment for the Arts, the NEA Big Read broadens our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book. Program made possible by Miami Book Fair. …
The creativity of nature is vast and unending. I want to show attendees of this workshop how they can harness materials that are readily available, and create fun and experimental images. I will do this by showing them how to print/paint with leaves, branches, and rocks. Using these natural materials instead of traditional brushes yields fun and exciting imagery, and opens them up to a playful process where mistakes and messes are welcome. …
The 2023 Big Read Miami keynote address features award-winning poet, educator, and community gardener Ross Gay on this year’s featured title, Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude. In his award-winning poetry collection, Gay demonstrates the practice of gratitude while never losing sight of the loss that animates it. Animated by what he has called the “discipline of gratitude,” the collection considers sorrow’s potential, …
We are so thrilled to announce that John Green will join us for an in-person discussion in celebration of the paperback release of The Anthropocene Reviewed: Essays on a Human-Centered Planet (Dutton, $18), a deeply moving and insightful collection of personal essays adapted from his critically acclaimed podcast The Anthropocene Re-viewed.
TICKETS REQUIRED: All tickets are GENERAL ADMISSION and are purchased through Eventbrite. …
Join Miami Book Fair and the Shenandoah branch of the Miami-Dade Public Library System for an afternoon of storytelling, musical performances, arts and crafts with GOGO MOAD, and more! This afternoon of kid-focused activities will explore nature, gardening, gratitude practices, and the importance of caring for the environment while connecting to nature. Children will receive appropriately themed books and a small potted plant. …
What is the NEA Big Read?
A program of the National Endowment for the Arts, NEA Big Read broadens our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book. Managed by Arts Midwest, this initiative offers grants to support innovative community reading programs designed around a single book.
For more information about the NEA Big Read, visit www.arts.gov/partnerships/nea-big-read
For information about the NEA, visit www.arts.gov
For information about Arts Midwest, visit www.artsmidwest.org