Professor and Poet Ross Gay a 2021 PEN America Literary Award Finalist

(BLOOMINGTON) – “Be Holding,” a book-length poem by Ross Gay, an acclaimed author and professor of English in the IU Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences, is a finalist for PEN America’s Jean Stein Book Award.

Ross Gay

The Jean Stein prize is awarded to a book-length work of any genre for its originality, merit and impact that has broken new ground by reshaping the boundaries of its form and signaling strong potential for lasting influence. The winner will receive a $75,000 cash prize.

“Be Holding” is Gay’s love song to legendary basketball player Julius Erving. Gay teaches poetry at IU and is the author of three books of poetry: “Against Which,” “Bringing the Shovel Down” and “Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude,” which was the winner of the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award and the 2016 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award.