If you aren’t already aware: it’s National Poetry Month! This month we’ve been tweeting recommendations of first books by astounding poets. Check out our Favorite Debut Poetry Collections for more info. We’ve seen a lot of great responses to these tweets–so we’ve decided to ramp up our game. We’ve asked our staff to think back to a time when they were unfamiliar with poetry–is there a poem or poet that spoke to them? Which collections would they recommend to new poetry readers? Their answers are below.
Posts Tagged: Ross Gay
We are proud to have Indiana University Director of Creative Writing and long-time supporter of Indiana Review Ross Gay judge the 2017 IR/IU Press Blue Light Books Prize. While preparing your poetry manuscripts, read his interview where he discusses when he knows a poem is finished, writing as conversation, love, and what he might be looking for in the winning poetry collection.
Ross Gay is the author of three books: Against Which; Bringing the Shovel Down; and Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude, winner of the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award and the 2016 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude is currently a nominee for the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award. Catalog was also a finalist for the 2015 National Book Award in Poetry, the Ohioana Book Award, the Balcones Poetry Prize, and was nominated for an NAACP Image Award.
As part of the 2016 Poetry Prize winner package, Ross Gay reads Alicia Wright’s winning poem “His Father’s Wake” on our Bluecast here.
Here’s what judge Camille Rankine says about the winning poem: “What strikes me first about ‘His Father’s Wake’ is the unmoored energy of it. The phrases drift and crash into one another. They collide, they ricochet and spin away. These movements make a voice that is both wild and deliberate, steady and reckless in turn. The effect is captivating. I feel each shift and slow and quickening in my breath, in my heart’s beat.”
Listen to Alicia Wright read her poem here.
Ross Gay’s incredible poem “Spoon” appears in his new poetry collection, Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2015). Listen to him read the poem here.