Profiles Interviews

Poet and Professor Ross Gay

John Bailey interviews Ross Gay, poet and associate director of creative writing in the Department of English at IU-Bloomington.

Ross Gay in yellow T-shirt with foliage behind him

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Ross Gay

The reason I write poems, the reason I write essays, the reason I write, period . . . is to more fully understand the mysteries of my life. Not to make the mysteries disappear, but to more fully understand them.

Ross Gay is the author of two collections of poetry, Against Which and Bringing the Shovel Down. His poems have appeared in literary journals and magazines including American Poetry Review, Harvard Review, and Atlanta Review, and in anthologies including From the Fishouse.

His honors include being a Cave Canem Workshop fellow and a Bread Loaf Writers Conference Tuition Scholar, and in 2013 he was granted a Guggenheim Fellowship.

In addition to teaching at IU, Gay teaches in the low-residency MFA in poetry program at Drew University. He is also a basketball coach, a gardener, and a painter.

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