MDC’s Miami Book Fair Celebrates The Big Read with Events Inspired by Ross Gay’s “Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude”

Miami, Feb. 23, 2023 – Miami Dade College’s (MDC) Miami Book Fair will once again participate the national The Big Read program supported by the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) to promote literacy. The Big Read aims to broaden our understanding of our world, our communities and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book. Managed by Arts Midwest, this initiative offers grants to support innovative community reading programs designed around a single book.

This year, Miami Book Fair invites you to demonstrate the practice of gratitude at one of this year’s The Big Read Miami events featuring workshops, exhibits and keynotes programmed around “Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude,” a poetry collection by poet, educator and community gardener Ross Gay.

Miami Book Fair has planned two months of activities inspired by this year’s selection. The Big Read Miami will kick off on Friday, March 3, with an exhibit of impressionist Florida nature paintings by Penny Thurer at Books & Books Coral Gables. Gay comes to Miami for the keynote on Thursday, March 30, at the Lyric Theater in Miami’s historic Overtown neighborhood. Other highlights include a Storybook Picnic for kids at Shenandoah library branch on Earth Day, April 22, a workshop on the healing power of plants, a book presentation by author John Green, book discussions at library branches throughout the Miami-Dade County Library System, and much more. Throughout the program, Miami Book Fair will also be collecting “gratitude notes” from Miami-Dade County through an online form. Selections will then be published in a limited-edition collectible format.

In “Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude,” Gay demonstrates the practice of gratitude while never losing sight of the loss that animates it. Through 24 lyric poems, the book offers a luminous exploration of death, life and their many tides. The book won the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award and the 2016 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award.

“Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude” is Gay’s third book of poetry. His other published works include “Against Which; Bringing the Shovel Down”; “Be Holding,” winner of the PEN American Literary Jean Stein Award; “The Book of Delights,” his first collection of essays released in 2019; and New York Times bestseller “Inciting Joy,” his new collection of essays released by Algonquin in 2022.

Complimentary copies of the book will be distributed at Big Read events while supplies last.

View a complete list of Big Read initiatives hosted by Miami Book Fair here.

For more information about the NEA and Big Read, visit

For information about Arts Midwest, visit

For more information about Miami Book Fair, visit, call 305-237-3528 or email

Follow the Miami Book Fair on social media @miamibookfair.