By Bryan Hay

The Book of Delights, a collection of short essays by Ross Gay ’96, was the subject of this year’s community reading class for First-Year Seminar students. 

Students shared their interpretations of delights and reacted to Gay’s more than 100 essays, which chronicle his own delights taken from seemingly routine and sometimes unusual encounters. (Read about students’ summer reading discussion.)

When the award-winning poet heard that his first collection of essays was the focus of this year’s community reading class, he shared yet another delight:

“It feels really lucky to get to share this work with these incoming folks—to share these questions and observations and yearnings. And it’s lucky, I’m feeling especially grateful, because the love and care and support that I received from people like Ed Kerns and Lee Upton and Susan Blake and Curlee Raven Holton and Laura Dassow Walls and John McCartney, my professors while I was a student at Lafayette, not to mention my beloved friends from my time there, who continue to be collaborators in various ways, who continue to be friends—it’s all embedded in The Book of Delights. All the caring and loving. All the beloving.”

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