Photo of Ross Gay by Natasha Komoda

Explore Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude

This fall, the Rutgers-Camden Center for the Arts will participate in NEA Big Read for the 10th time with Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude by Ross Gay. The two-month celebration features a lecture series, art installation sites, storytelling programs, and more.  A copy of Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude or an age appropriate companion book will be given to each patron at select events.  

For more information on The Big Read or to have your own Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude book group, contact Noreen Scott Garrity at 856-225-6306 or




Keynote Event:

Poet, Ross Gay, in conversation with Patrick Rosal
Tuesday, October 18, 2022 4:30 pm

LOCATION: Rutgers-Camden Campus Center, Multi-Purpose Room, 326 Penn Street, Camden, NJ 08102

This event is free and open to the public, call or email Noreen Scott Garrity: or 856-225-6306 or REGISTER HERE

Ross Gay is the author of four books of poetry: Against Which; Bringing the Shovel Down; Be Holding, winner of the PEN American Literary Jean Stein Award; and Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude, winner of the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award and the 2016 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. His first collection of essays, The Book of Delights, was released in 2019 and was a New York Times bestseller. His new collection of essays, Inciting Joy, will be released by Algonquin in October of 2022.  


                                                                    Photo of Ross Gay by Natasha Komoda

Rutgers-Camden Faculty Lecture on Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude

Keith Green

“Can I kick it? Yes, you can: Mournful Joy in Ross Gay’s Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude”

Dr. Green is Associate Professor, Dept of English and Africana Studies Program Director at Rutgers-Camden.

Monday, November 7, 11:30 am 

Stedman Gallery, Fine Arts Building, Rutgers-Camden Campus

This event is free and open to the public, call or email Noreen Scott Garrity: or 856-225-6306 or REGISTER HERE

Keith Green’s main research and teaching interests lie in African American literature, with more specific investments in the study of the antebellum era, self-referential writing, African-Native American literature, and slave narratives. He has delivered papers on Nat Turner, Harriet Jacobs, Henry Bibb, and William Wells Brown. His current book project, Not Just Slavery: African Americans Write Captivity Narratives, Too: 1816-1879, explores the various kinds of bondage and confinement–specifically Indian slavery, Barbary captivity, and state imprisonment–African Americans experienced and recounted in the nineteenth century.


                                                             Keith Green

Storytelling Program: Tall Tales with Kyle J
Dates To Be Announced

Camden County Library, Nilsa I. Cruz Downtown Branch
Ages 12 and under
Everyone’s favorite storyteller, Kyle Jakubowski, will weave his delightful word magic and captivate children of all ages through interactive storytelling. The session includes several different stories adapted from picture books. The children help to tell the stories through call-and-response, creative movement, and other ways that provide engaged learning and encourage an interest in reading.
Space is limited. Call ahead to reserve your space. Contact Noreen Scott Garrity at 856-225-6306.



Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude Book Exhibition
September 26- December 9, 2022

Paul Robeson Library
The Paul Robeson Library will feature a collection of books, biographies, and criticism related to Ross Gay’s Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude.

What Are You Grateful For? Installations
November 7 – December 9, 2022
Two Sites:
Paul Robeson Library
Camden County Library , Nilsa I. Cruz Downtown Branch
Participants of all ages will have the opportunity to contribute to the growing installation in both the Nilsa I. Cruz Library and the Paul Robeson Library, Rutgers-Camden. Individuals can respond to the prompt, What are you grateful for? 

Rutgers-Camden Center for the Arts (RCCA) will host an avid book club for Camden residents as it participates in its 10th National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Big Read. The two-month book celebration – expected to run from October to early December 2022 – will feature a series of events centering on Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude, a poetry collection by poet Ross Gay. Events include a lecture series, art installation sites, storytelling programs, and more.
“Ross Gay’s poetry collection celebrates life and goodness and that which nourishes us, fleetingly and forever, through love and loss,” said Noreen Scott Garrity, director of the RCCA. “He touches on everyday living and notices what we often take for granted. We looking forward to welcoming guests to share in this enjoyable literary experience.”
Other RCCA Big Read programs this fall included lectures, discussions, artist residencies, collaborative installation projects, and exhibitions, as well as family-friendly performances by RCCA storyteller-in-residence since 2004, Tall Tales with Kyle J. Stories for this age group focus on family, joy and everyday life. Kyle Jakubowski is a certified language arts teacher in the public schools. RCCA will effectively utilize companion books, including “Black Boy Joy” by Kwame Mbalia, “Daniel’s Good Day” by Micha Archer, and “A Place Inside Me: A Poem to Heal the Heart” by Zetta Elliott.
Launched in 2006, the NEA Big Read aims to inspiring meaningful conversations, artistic responses, and new discoveries and connections in participating communities. In partnership with Arts Midwest, the NEA supports programming centered around one of 15 different contemporary books. Participating communities also receive high-quality, free-of-charge educational materials to supplement each title.


Rutgers-Camden Center for the Arts’ Fall 2022 Big Read program is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts Big Read program, a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest; the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts; and the Rutgers-Camden Division of Diversity, Inclusion and Civic Engagement.

RCCA arts education programs are made possible in part with generous support from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, E.A Michelson Philanthropy, and other generous supporters.