Ross Gay wants to understand joy. He is the author of four books of poetry and two essay collections, including Inciting Joy, which was published in October 2022.— From June 2023
Dear Ross: How can you miss on purpose? If I’m late getting back on defense, you’ll bounce the ball off the bottom of the rim and catch the “rebound” for a point. Alone under the basket. Missing.
Dear Noah: Bouncing the ball off the bottom of the rim is, as you say, a poorly missed shot, but also a perfectly missed one, because it results in a point in our game, which means it’s a way for me to stay on the court. If there were a way I could stay on the court without cheating — without those perfectly, beautifully missed shots — believe me, I would do it.June 2020
Among the more concrete ramifications of this corruption of the imagination is that when the police suspect a black man or boy of having a gun, he becomes murderable: Murderable despite having earned advanced degrees or bought a cute house or written a couple of books of poetry. Murderable whether he’s an unarmed adult or a child riding a bike in the opposite direction. Murderable in the doorways of our houses.July 2013
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