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Ross Gay (born August 1, 1974) is an American poet and professor.
- I was definitely feeling alienated in various ways, and feeling some unarticulated rage and sorrow about a number of things. Once I got introduced to the right poems, I became aware of maybe a way to express those things, articulate them.
- On becoming a poet in college in “‘Ross Gay: Finding joy in the process” in Writer Magazine (2019 Jun 24)
- I feel like over the years, I’ve become more invested in a kind of written spoken voice. And connected to that, that I’m interested in the audience in a different way than I was before. I’m interested in caring for my audience. I don’t mean taking care of them. I mean being understanding. I understand that someone reading something that I’ve written is a generosity.
- On his evolution as a poet in “‘Ross Gay: Finding joy in the process” in Writer Magazine (2019 Jun 24)
- One is that I’m the first reader, and so I’m always writing these poems to myself, and my self — my self as a reader — is someone who wants to be transformed in the process of reading poems. I don’t want to read a poem that I already know.
- On the role of the reader in “The Terrible and the Possible: An Interview with Ross Gay” in Los Angeles Review of Books (2016 Nov 11)
- I have inherited this sense that seriousness does not necessarily go with grief, or seriousness does not necessarily go with joy, which to me is not glee, actually. Joy is this very complex, full, rigorous emotion. But yeah, I think the fact that I felt like I was being a little transgressive by titling it that indicates at least something about the way that I’ve come up in contemporary poetry.
- On gratitude in poetry in “The Terrible and the Possible: An Interview with Ross Gay” in Los Angeles Review of Books (2016 Nov 11)
- I love so many different writers from different eras. But a few—of, really, zillions, so this is an incomplete list—would be Herman Melville, Mark Twain, Ralph Ellison, Jamaica Kincaid, Toni Morrison, Percival Everett, Philip Roth and Junot Díaz on the novel side and, lord, the poets—too many to even mention. But right now I’m re-reading and re-reading Robert Hayden’s poems, which are absolutely beautiful and brilliant...I think Amiri Baraka’s work made me want to write poems too. Especially his beautiful poem, “An Agony. As Now.” A really, really beautiful poem.
- interview quoted here