2021 Big Read Kickoff Reading: Ross Gay & Aimee Nezhukumatathil

Miami Book Fair’s NEA Big Read program kicks off with a reading by two award-winning poets and essayists whose work ponders the wonders of nature and humanity: Ross Gay, author […]


2021 Big Read Kickoff Reading: Ross Gay & Aimee Nezhukumatathil

Authors:Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Ross Gay


Miami Book Fair’s NEA Big Read program kicks off with a reading by two award-winning poets and essayists whose work ponders the wonders of nature and humanity: Ross Gay, author of The Book of Delights, which was named one of the Best books of 2019 by Lit Hub, The Washington Independent Review of Books, and more; and Aimee Nezhukumatathil, author of World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments, which was named the 2020 Barnes & Noble Book of the Year.

Both authors will also virtually visit select Miami Dade College classrooms.

Aimee Nezhukumatathil

Aimee Nezhukumatathil is the author of a book of nature essays, World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, & Other Astonishments, which was named a finalist for the Kirkus Prize in non-fiction, and four award-winning poetry collections, most recently, Oceanic (2018). Awards for her writing include fellowships from the Mississippi Arts Council, Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award for poetry, National Endowment of the Arts, and the Guggenheim Foundation. Her writing has appeared in NYTimes Magazine, ESPN, and Best American Poetry. She is professor of English and Creative Writing in the University of Mississippi’s MFA program.

Ross Gay

Ross Gay is the author of four books of poetry: Against WhichBringing the Shovel DownBe Holding; and Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude, winner of the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award and the 2016 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. His new poem, Be Holding, was released from the University of Pittsburgh Press in September of 2020. His collection of essays, The Book of Delights, was released by Algonquin Books in 2019. Ross is also the co-author, with Aimee Nezhukumatathil, of the chapbook “Lace and Pyrite: Letters from Two Gardens,” in addition to being co-author, with Rosechard Wehrenberg, of the chapbook, “River.”  He is a founding editor, with Karissa Chen and Patrick Rosal, of the online sports magazine Some Call it Ballin’in addition to being an editor with the chapbook presses Q Avenue and Ledge Mule Press.  Ross is a founding board member of the Bloomington Community Orchard, a non-profit, free-fruit-for-all food justice and joy project. He also works on The Tenderness Project with Shayla Lawson and Essence London. He has received fellowships from Cave Canem, the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, and the Guggenheim Foundation. Ross teaches at Indiana University.

Related Events

On Demand

November 19, 2020

In Conversation: On James Baldwin’s America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own

by Kenneth W. Mack, Eddie S. Glaude Jr.

Eddie S. Glaude Jr., author and James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor of African American Studies at Princeton University, weaves biography, memoir, and social and political analysis as he explores […]

Add to Watch List

On Demand

November 21, 2020

In Conversation: The Life of Malcolm X

by Tamara Payne, Randall Pinkston, Les Payne

The result of a nearly 30-year quest and drawing on hundreds of hours of interviews, The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X is an epic biography of one […]

Add to Watch List

On Demand

November 21, 2020

African American Poetry: 250 Years of Struggle & Song

by Kevin Young, Campbell McGrath

African American Poetry: 250 Years of Struggle & Song is a literary landmark: the biggest, most ambitious anthology of Black poetry ever published, gathering 250 poets from the colonial period […]

Add to Watch List

On Demand

November 21, 2020

In Conversation: Black Cooks and the Soul of American Food

by Dawn Davis, Marcus Samuelsson

In partnership with Portland Book Festival and Miami’s Overtown Book Festival. It is long past time to recognize Black excellence in the culinary world the same way it has been […]

Add to Watch List