Alumnus recognized for contribution to literature

Ross Gay ‘96 recently was shortlisted for the 2015 National Book Award for Poetry [Photo courtesy of ]

Ross Gay ‘96 up for 2015 National Book Award for Poetry

Lafayette alumnus Ross Gay ‘96 was recently named to the shortlist for the 2015 National Book Award for Poetry. Gay’s book, “Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude,” is one of five works up for the award.

Gay has written three collections of poetry including the aforementioned “Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude.” The others include “Bringing the Shovel Down” and “Against Which.”

He graduated from Lafayette with a BA in English and art. He was also the George Wharton Pepper Prize winner. He went on to receive his MFA in poetry from Sarah Lawrence College and his Ph.D. in American Literature form Temple University.

The National Book Foundation is a nonprofit organization that oversees the National Book Award each year. A panel of judges, which is typically made up of accomplished writers or other experts in the field, chooses the winner.

Each finalist receives $1,000 and a medal. The winners in each of the four categories receive $10,000 and a bronze sculpture, according to the National Book Foundation’s website. The categories include fiction, nonfiction, poetry and young people’s literature.

Currently, Gay is an Associate Professor of Poetry at Indiana University and teaches at Drew University in their low-residency MFA program in Poetry in Translation.

The winner of the award of the book award will be announced on Nov. 18 at an Awards Ceremony and Benefit Dinner in New York City.