An 'elegant, accessible, transcendent, earthy' poetry collection

'Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude' by Ross Gay
'Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude' by Ross Gay
Courtesy of publisher

Every week, The Thread checks in with booksellers around the country about their favorite books of the moment. This week, we spoke with Nathan Montoya, co-owner of Village Lights Bookstore in Madison, Ind.

National Poetry Month may have drawn to a close in April, but bookseller Nathan Montoya has a poetry collection to read year-round: Ross Gay's "Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude."

"My simplest review would be: Elegant, accessible, transcendent, earthy, heart-rending, joyful and downright fertilizing," Montoya said.

Gay "weaves a very colorful tapestry of reflection on everyday life, not so much elevating but revealing the universal, the sublime in what we might normally consider mundane detail." The collection offers "very down-to-earth poetry, very accessible ... wonderful in its simplicity."

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"The first poem in the book portrays a joyful celebration of the entire human family under a fig tree, on a street corner," Montoya recounted. "And I'll tell you, I'll never look at a fig the same way again.

"[He] can make you cry and make you laugh within a few stanzas. Kind of like haiku, in its apparent simplicity, it can open a door of perception to a broad vista.

"Ross Gay is a gardener, and he works with the economy and elegance of a good gardener. Using the most trivial of natural images or just everyday, workaday human interactions, he surprises us, plunges us, pushes us unexpectedly down a personal footpath of the heart."

The Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude