Ross Gay is the author of two previous collections, Against Which and Bringing the Shovel Down. His poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Orion, the Sun, and elsewhere. He is an associate professor of poetry at Indiana University and teaches in Drew University’s low-residency MFA program in poetry. He also serves on the board of the Bloomington Community Orchard.
Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude is 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. That is, this is a book that studies the wisdom of the garden and orchard, those places where all—death, sorrow, loss—is converted into what might, with patience, nourish us.
Bringing the Shovel Down maps the long and arduous process of being inculcated with the mythologies of state and power, the ramifications of that inculcation (largely, the loss of our humanity in the service of maintaining those mythologies), and finally, what it might mean, what it might provide us, if we were to transform those myths. The book, finally, has one underlying question: How might we better love one another?