Award-winning poet, essayist to deliver free downtown lecture as part of KU event

photo by: Courtesy: KU

Ross Gay

A best-selling poet and author who explores the meaning of joy will give a free lecture in downtown Lawrence next month as part of a University of Kansas event.

Ross Gay, a National Book Critics Circle Award winner, will give the Kenneth A. Spencer Lecture at 7 p.m. on Feb. 16 at Liberty Hall in downtown Lawrence.

The Kenneth A. Spencer Lecture, which is making its in-person return after two years of virtual events, aims to bring to the area “leading thinkers whose work applies across disciplines.”

Gay is the author of four books of poetry, and also is an accomplished essayist. His first collection of essays, “The Book of Delights,” was a New York Times bestseller. His most recent work is “Inciting Joy,” a collection of essays.

In addition to the 2015 National Book Critics Award, Gay also has received awards from PEN and the Kingsley and Kate Tufts Poetry Award. He teaches at Indiana University, among other institutions.

There is no admission charge to attend the lecture, which is hosted by The Commons at KU, but tickets are required. Tickets can be obtained online at


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