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Today’s Between the Covers conversation is with the poet Ross Gay about Be Holding, his book-length poem that emerges from a sustained meditation on a mere few seconds of the basketball career of Julius Erving (aka Dr. J). Be Holding is a finalist for this year’s PEN/Jean Stein Book Award, given to a work “which has broken new ground by reshaping the boundaries of its form and signaling strong potential for lasting influence.” (This year’s judges are Vievee Francis, Fred Moten, and Tommy Orange).
Whether you love basketball or break out in hives at the mention of sports, do watch the video of Dr. J’s move, a move that is akin as much to dance or song or even poetry, as it is to athletics.
How is joy inseparable from death? Flight connected to entanglement? Looking to growing? Dr. J to mushrooms and trees, fathers and gardens, birds and cameras? What can we learn about the act of looking, the act of beholding, when it comes to the making of art, to the writing of poems? Join us to find out all of this and much more.
For the bonus audio archive Ross Gay reads a poem by Jean Valentine and talks to us about her. To find out more about how to subscribe to the bonus audio and to explore the wealth of potential gifts and rewards and benefits of becoming a listener-supporter of Between the Covers head over to the show’s Patreon page here.