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Professor Ross Gay Wins 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry

The latest in a series of awards garnered by Professor Ross Gay, The National Book Critics' Choice Award in poetry has now been added to his collection, in celebration of his Catalogue of Unabashed Gratitude. Awarded annually since 1976, the NBCC awards honor the best literature published in the United States in six categories—autobiography, biography, criticism, fiction, nonfiction, and poetry-and winners are chosen by literary critics.

Tess Taylor, writing for the NBCC blog, "Critical Mass," said this about Gay's book: "Sometimes, in this age of irony, disillusionment, and moral outrage, it is hard to find convincing language for praise, or space for praising at all. This is why I was so grateful to read Ross Gay’s messy, juicy collection about his life as a community orchardist, helping to raise pawpaws and persimmons in an orchard the public can tend and also pick."

Catalogue of Unabashed Gratitude was also the winner of the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award and a finalist for the 2015 National Book Award in Poetry.
Professor Ross Gay wins Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award

Professor Ross Gay is the winner of the 2016 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. One of the most prestigious awards in poetry, the honor carries with it a $100,000 prize. While many literary awards recognize a single published work or a successful writing career, the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award was created to honor mid-career poets and provide them the means to continue working toward the pinnacle of their craft.

Gay's latest collection, "Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude," was published by the University of Pittsburgh Press in 2015 as part of the acclaimed Pitt Poetry Series. It was a finalist for the 2015 National Book Award, the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award and the 2015 NAACP Image Awards, all in poetry categories.

The publisher described "Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude" as a sustained meditation on that which goes away -- loved ones, the seasons, the earth as we know it -- that tries to find solace in the processes of the garden and the orchard. Gay's deeply rooted connections to the land go beyond verse. In Bloomington, he serves on the board of directors for the Bloomington Community Orchard.

"It is my great pleasure to commend Ross Gay on the Kingsley Tufts Award for his book, 'Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude,'" said Bob Bledsoe, director of the Creative Writing Program at IU Bloomington and the Indiana University Writers' Conference.

Read the full press release here.
Professor Ross Gay and Alum Kyle Dargan Named Finalists for the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award

From the Claremont Graduate University Press Release: "The Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award is given annually to honor a poet at mid-career, providing resources that allow the artist to continue working toward the pinnacle of their craft.

'“The roster of eligible books testified to the extraordinary range and diverse beauty of current American poetry; to pick only ten finalists for two awards should have been impossible,” said Lori Anne Ferrell, director of the Kingsley and Kate Tufts Poetry Awards. “So I have no idea how the judges will be able to go on to choose only two winners, but I can’t wait to be there when they do.”'

"Winners will be announced in March and recognized during a ceremony on April 7."
Ross Gay named National Book Awards Finalist

Ross Gay's Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude (Pitt Poetry Series/University of Pittsburgh Press, 2015) is a finalist for the 2015 National Book Awards.

Winners will be announced at a ceremony in New York on November 18th.

Congratulations, Ross!

Read more:
Whale Chaser Paperback Release

Chicago Review Press has just released Tony Ardizzone's novel, The Whale Chaser, in paperback, just in time for summer reading lists. It is a novel about leaving the midwest behind for a new start in the Pacific Northwest, and learning how to put the scattered pieces of one's life back together in a way that makes sense. As one reviewer writes: "Heartbreaking yet compassionate, his novel takes the reader on a journey toward acceptance and the rightness of the natural universe. The Whale Chaser encompasses but ultimately transcends a coming-of-age novel, a love story, and 1960s period fiction in its exploration of the human experience, of fate and free will, of learning when to let go."

Now available in paperback:
Upadhyay Short-Listed for Open Award

Samrat Upadhyay, Martha C. Kraft Professor of Humanities, is one of the many PEN Literary Award finalists announced April 16 for his novel The City Son.

Among the other finalists for prizes in nine different categories were Cynthia Bond, whose debut novel, Ruby was an Oprah Book Club pick; poet Claudia Rankine, whose Citizen: An American Lyric nabbed a National Book Critics Circle Award last month; Leslie Jamison for her essay collection, The Empathy Exams; and S.C. Gwynne for Rebel Yell, his biography of Civil War general Stonewall Jackson.

Most of the winners will be announced on May 13, and the awards will be presented at a ceremony in New York on June 8. This year PEN is giving 19 awards, fellowships, grants and prizes equaling almost $150,000. PEN's Open Book Award, for which Uphadyay is under consideration, recognizes "an exceptional book-length work of literature by an author of color published in 2014." This year's finalists, in addition to Upadhyay and Rankine are: Rabih Alameddine, An Unnecessary Woman; Teju Cole, Every Day is for the Thief; and Roxanne Gay, An Untamed State.
Ross Gay Awarded Radcliffe Fellowship

Ross Gay has been selected for a Fellowship from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University for the 2015-16 academic year. Previous winners have included: Junot Diaz, Geraldine Brooks, and Natasha Trethewey. This is a significant and well-deserved honor, as well as an extraordinary opportunity for Ross. Congratulations!
Coming this fall...

Reaktion Press has begun advertising Alyce Millers contribution to their Animal series, Skunk, available for pre-order in advance of a November release date. Animal is a pioneering series from Reaktion Books. The first of its kind to explore the historical significance and impact on humans of a wide range of animals, each book in the series takes a different animal and examines its role in history around the world. The importance of mythology, religion and science are described as is the history of food, the trade in animals and their products, pets, exhibition, film and photography, and their roles in the artistic and literary imagination. This series has rapidly become a touchstone resource for scholars and the general public interested in animal studies. Skunk joins a crowded menagerie of fascinating beasts and fascinated scholars.

Read more about Skunk (including ordering information) here:
Miller Awarded Gilchrist Prize

Alyce Miller has been named the inaugural winner of the Ellen Gilchrist Prize in Short Fiction for her book Sweet Love (China Grove Press, 2015). See the announcement here:

The Prize is named for Ellen Gilchrist, 1984 National Book Award Winner for Victory Over Japan, recognized as one of the premier writers of short stories in American literature.
Unabashed Gratitude

Brighten your day. Brighten your bookshelves. Ross Gay has published another collection of poems.

. . . this is as delicate/as we can be/in this life/practicing/like this . . .

Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude is a sustained meditation on that which goes awayloved ones, the seasons, the earth as we know itthat tries to find solace in the processes of the garden and the orchard. That is, this is a book that studies the wisdom of the garden and orchard, those places where alldeath, sorrow, lossis converted into what might, with patience, nourish us.

Thank you, Ross.

Since its inception in 1967, the Pitt Poetry Series has been a vehicle for Americas finest contemporary poets. The series list includes Poet Laureate Billy Collins, Toi Derricotte, Denise Duhamel, Lynn Emanuel, Bob Hicok, Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner Ted Kooser, Larry Levis, Sharon Olds, Alicia Suskin Ostriker, Virgil Surez, Afaa Michael Weaver, David Wojahn, Dean Young, and many others.

Throughout its history, the Pitt Poetry Series has provided a voice for the diversity that is American poetry, representing poets from many backgrounds without allegiance to any one school or style.