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IN-PERSON EVENT: A Reading with Ross Gay & Chris Mattingly

Tuesday, March 21, 2023 - 7:00pm


FREE IN-STORE EVENT: Bookshop Santa Cruz is delighted to welcome New York Times bestselling author Ross Gay (The Book of Delights) and local poet Chris Mattingly for a very special evening of poetry and conversation. This event is cosponsored by The Humanities Institute at UC Santa Cruz.

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Ross Gay's newest book is Inciting Joy:
In these gorgeously written and timely pieces, prize winning poet and author Ross Gay considers the joy we incite when we care for each other, especially during life’s inevitable hardships. Throughout Inciting Joy, he explores how we can practice recognizing that connection, and also, crucially, how we can expand it.

In “We Kin,” Gay thinks about the garden (es­pecially around August, when the zucchini and tomatoes come in) as a laboratory of mutual aid; in “Share Your Bucket,” he explores skateboard­ing’s reclamation of public spaces; he considers the costs of masculinity in “Grief Suite”; and in “Through My Tears I Saw,” he recognizes what was healed in caring for his father as he was dying.

In an era when divisive voices take up so much airspace, Inciting Joy offers a vital alternative: What might be possible if we turn our attention to what brings us together, to what we love?

Taking a clear-eyed look at injustice, political polarization, and the destruction of the natural world, Gay shows us how we might resist, how the study of joy might lead us to a wild, unpredictable, transgressive, and unboundaried solidarity. In fact, it just might help us survive.


Ross Gay is the New York Times bestselling author of The Book of Delights: Essays and four books of poetry. His Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude won the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award and the 2016 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, and was a finalist for the National Book Award; and Be Holding won the 2021 PEN America Jean Stein Book Award. He is a founding board member of the Bloomington Community Orchard, a non-profit, free-fruit-for-all food justice and joy project. Gay has received fellowships from Cave Canem, the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, and the Guggenheim Foundation. He teaches at Indiana University.

Chris Mattingly is a poet in Santa Cruz. He is the author of two full-length collections of poetry, Scuffletown (Typecast, 2013) and The Catalyst (Pickpocket, 2018) as well as over two dozen limited-run chapbooks and artist’ books. His poetry and non-fiction have appeared in The Greensboro Review, Louisville Review, Trigger, Lumberyard, Still, Some Call it Ballin’, and Forklift, OHIO. Chris is co-founding editor of alla testa, a kitchen press devoted to producing far out field recordings, hand-made artist’ books, and letter press chapbooks. Some of his work is on display at

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Inciting Joy: Essays By Ross Gay Cover Image
ISBN: 9781643753041
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Algonquin Books - October 25th, 2022