From the archives: Ross Gay on 'Inciting Joy'

A book cover and a picture of the author.
Ross Gay is the author of "Inciting Joy."
Courtesy Images

Poet Ross Gay believes in joy. But he pays careful attention to how one defines that word.

It is not simply happiness or delight, he says in his new book “Inciting Joy.” Rather, it is what grows from the fertile soil of breaking and belonging. It is the light that emanates from us when we help each other carry our sorrows.

Gay was in St. Paul in November of 2022 to talk with MPR News host Kerri Miller for the finale of the 2022 Talking Volumes season. The evening also featured music from Minneapolis artist MAYYADDA.

Enjoy that conversation as an appetizer to what’s coming this Friday, when Miller talks with psychologist and professor Dacher Keltner about his new book that delves into the impact of another universal emotion — awe.

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  • Ross Gay is a poet, an essayist, a gardener and a professor. His newest book is “Inciting Joy.”

To listen to a lightly edited version of the Talking Volumes conversation, use the audio player above. Note that it does contain some explicit language. You can also find the video on YouTube.

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