National Book Awards Finalists Join 2016 Winter With the Writers Season

Ross Gay and Sy Montgomery are the first fruits of a budding partnership between Rollins College and the National Book Foundation.

Rollins College will host 2015 National Book Awards finalists Ross Gay and Sy Montgomery on February 25 as part of the 2016 Winter With the Writers literary festival.

Gay and Montgomery are the first fruits of a budding partnership between Rollins and the National Book Foundation, presenter of the National Book Awards. As the Southeast’s sole representative of the National Book Awards on Campus program, Rollins will host two National Book Awards finalists each year during Winter With the Writers.

Gay’s Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude was a finalist for the 2015 National Book Award for poetry. Montgomery’s The Soul of an Octopus was one of five finalists in the awards’ nonfiction category.

“Ross Gay will bring enormous energy and a poetics that includes a willingness to both ‘terrify and comfort’ his readers, as John Berryman once said,” says Carol Frost, Theodore Bruce and Barbara Lawrence Alfond Professor of English and director of Winter With the Writers. “His poetry labors to show us ways away from ordinary cruelties and toward transcendent grace.

“In Sy Montgomery, students and the broader Rollins community can expect a naturalist's view of the world. The Soul of an Octopus recounts her experiences, some quite funny, with this astonishing sea creature and tells us about the connections we have with all the wild creatures of the natural world.”

Gay and Montgomery join Antonio Skármeta, Phillip Deaver, and Chase Twichell in the 2016 Winter With the Writers season.

2016 Winter With the Writers Season At A Glance

Antonio Skármeta

February 4

Chilean novelist, screenwriter, and diplomat Antonio Skármeta is the author of Ardiente paciencia, which was adapted for the screen twice, including the 1994 Academy Award-winning film, Il Postino (The Postman).

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Philip F. Deaver

February 11

Deaver is a professor of English at Rollins and author of the soon-to-be-released Forty Martyrs, which follows the intertwining lives of a psychologist, his wife, his lover, his lover’s husband, and his lover’s own paramour in the small town of Tuscola, Illinois.

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Chase Twichell

February 18

Twichell is the author of seven books of poetry, most recently Horses Where the Answers Should Have Been: New and Selected Poems. She will serve as the Irving Bacheller Professor of Creative Writing at Rollins for the 2015-2016 academic year.

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Ross Gay

February 25

Gay is the author of three poetry collections, including Against Which, Bringing the Shovel Down, and Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude, which was a finalist for the 2015 National Book Award for poetry.

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Sy Montgomery

February 25

Montgomery is the author of 20 books of nonfiction for adults and children, including the New York Times best seller The Good Good Pig. Her latest work, The Soul of an Octopus, was a finalist for the 2015 National Book Award for nonfiction.

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