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March 30, 2023 @ 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm

In-Person: An Evening with Ross Gay for the 2023 Big Read Keynote


March 30, 2023
7:30 pm - 8:30 pm


lyric theatre
819 NW 2nd Ave
Miami, FL 33136 United States
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Books & Books presents…


in conversation with

Patricia J. Braynon & Nicole Tallman


Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude

(University of Pittsburgh Press, $18.00)

Thursday, March 30th, 7:30 PM

IN-PERSON at Lyric Theatre, Miami, FL


About the Event:

The 2023 Big Read Miami keynote address features award-winning poet, educator, and community gardener Ross Gay on this year’s featured title, Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude. In his award-winning poetry collection, Gay demonstrates the practice of gratitude while never losing sight of the loss that animates it. Animated by what he has called the “discipline of gratitude,” the collection considers sorrow’s potential, grounded in the rhythms and abundance of the natural world: the compost that gives way to rich soil, the decay that reveals seeds, the branches that must be trimmed to make room for new growth.

Ross Gay will be in conversation with Mrs. Patricia J. Braynon, Chairperson of the board for the Black Archives and Historic Lyric Theater, and Miami-Dade County Poetry Ambassador Nicole Tallman on the themes found in the book and the importance of poetry and literature in the civic life of a community.

Free copies of Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude will be distributed to attendees while supplies last.

***Please note: This event will take place at the Lyric Theatre, 819 NW 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33136. Tickets are FREE, and books will be available for purchase at the event. Please RSVP only if you intend to join us.


About the Book:

Winner, 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award, poetry category

Winner, 2016 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Prize

Finalist, 2015 National Book Award, poetry category

Finalist, 2015 NAACP Image Awards, poetry category

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.


About the Author:

‌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, was released by Algonquin in 2022.

About the Moderators:

Mrs. Patricia J. Braynon was the Director of the Housing Finance Authority of Miami-Dade County from 1990 until her retirement in 2014. During her career with government, she also served Assistant County Manager. Mrs. Braynon, a fourth generation Miamian, and her husband Oscar are members of two of Miami’s pioneer African-American families. She serves as the current Chairperson of the board for the Black Archives and Historic Lyric Theater, and is actively involved with many other service organizations. Retirement has afforded her a greater opportunity to further explore her passions of family genealogical research and gardening. Patricia is an accomplished orchid grower and backyard gardener who has lovingly transformed her home garden into a tropical oasis. Her Master Gardener training is evident in the plush vegetable, flower, and fruit trees on her family urban homestead. Visit her home garden on YouTube @pjbraynon.

Nicole Tallman serves as the Poetry Ambassador for Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, a position she has held since April 2021. In this role, Nicole created the County’s very-first Poet Laureate program and works alongside the Poet Laureate to celebrate and elevate poetry and poets, connect community, and promote literacy and learning. Nicole is the author of three poetry collections: Something Kindred (The Southern Collective Experience Press, 2022), Poems for the People (The Southern Collective Experience Press, 2023), and FERSACE, forthcoming from ELJ Editions in November of this year. She also serves as Poetry and Interviews Editor for The Blue Mountain Review and an Associate Editor for South Florida Poetry Journal. Find her on Twitter and Instagram @natallman, http://nicoletallman.com, and http://miamidade.gov/poetry