Our pick for this year is The Book of Delights: Essays by Ross Gay.
Join us from Mountain Maryland to the Eastern shore as we read and discuss this year’s memorable book.
Programming takes place this fall from mid-September to mid-November.
The Book of Delights: Essays
by Ross GayThis year's One Maryland One Book is a collection of genre-defying lyric essays. They are recordings of delights the author wrote over one year. They serve as a reminder to us all to take time to find more delights and hope in our lives.
- About the Author
Ross Gay is the author of The Book of Delights, a genre-defying book of essays, and four books of poetry, including his most recent, Be Holding, a love song to legendary basketball player Julius Erving—known as Dr. J—who dominated courts in the 1970s and ’80s as a small forward for the Philadelphia ’76ers. Gay is a founding editor, with Karissa Chen and Patrick Rosal, of the online sports magazine “Some Call It Ballin’.” A founding board member of the Bloomington Community Orchard, a non-profit, free-fruit-for-all food justice and joy project, Gay has received fellowships from Cave Canem, the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, and the Guggenheim Foundation. He teaches at Indiana University.
- About the Book
In The Book of Delights, one of today’s most literary voices offers up a genre-defying volume of lyric essays written over one tumultuous year. The first nonfiction book from award-winning poet Ross Gay is a record of the small joys we often overlook in our busy lives. Among Gay’s funny, poetic, philosophical delights: a friend’s unabashed use of air quotes, cradling a tomato seedling aboard an airplane, the silent nod of acknowledgement between the only two black people in a room. But Gay never dismisses the complexities, even the terrors, of living in America as a black man or the ecological and psychic violence of our consumer culture or the loss of those he loves. More than any other subject, though, Gay celebrates the beauty of the natural world—his garden, the flowers peeking out of the sidewalk, the hypnotic movements of a praying mantis.
The Book of Delights is about our shared bonds, and the rewards that come from a life closely observed. These remarkable pieces serve as a powerful and necessary reminder that we can, and should, stake out a space in our lives for delight.
- Ross Gay on One Maryland One Book
“I’m so grateful that The Book of Delights was chosen for One Maryland One Book. It feels lucky to get to share this collection of questions and wonderings with you all for so many reasons (one of them that my big brother was an English teacher in Frederick a couple decades ago!). And I’m really looking forward to the conversations we’ll have about the book this fall.”