This week, we are thrilled to present a discussion between award-winning poets Ross Gay and Eve L. Ewing, who talked about Gay’s recent collection The Book of Delights.
We hope you enjoy entering the mind of a writer. Listen to more episodes here.
“My first impulse when I have a delight, when I have something that’s delightful…I want to share it. Or I want to yell it. Delight seems always to make you either reach toward people, or it makes you aware of the way that people reach toward each other and care for each other and tend to each other.”
“For Black people to rest is radical, a counter-political act. And to be joyful and laughing together. Like if enough of us get together and laugh loud together what do you call it? A crime.”
“There is a concerted effort to make us feel that we are not capable of caring for each other or loving each other or being tender with each other. The fact of the matter is that we are constantly tender with each other…the subtle tenderness that we are constantly in the midst of is like the ground. It’s the ground of our existence in fact. And there is a terrible utility to making us think that’s not actually the case. The more we know that our thing is to be tender with each other, that is really big. That’s really important.”
“The reason that delight is a thing is because there are things that are not delightful. The reason delight feels valuable is because there is a concerted effort to study what is not delightful, because there is a lot of what is not delightful.”
“What I’m really interested in for my work going forward is joy. I want to study, study, study what it is. And what I think of joy is the impossible-to-sever, fundamental connections between us. And when that becomes luminous, that to me is joy. That awareness of interdependence, of connectedness.”