Author Roxane Gay is the guest of honor for the 2019 Moth Ball, where she will be receiving the Moth Award for the bravely honest and independent storytelling she has shared with the world through her books and journalism. The Moth, founded in 1997 by writer George Dawes Greene, is a non-profit organization that supports the craft of storytelling, believing it to be one of the essential channels through which we connect with one another, both as the storytellers and the listeners.
“[Gay] uses her own personal story to call out oppression of every kind and to restore hope where it’s been obliterated,” Sarah Haberman, The Moth’s Executive Director, told New York’s Gothamist upon announcing the organization’s guest of honor. “The humor, authenticity, and vulnerability she consistently shows in her work epitomize The Moth’s deepest values of honesty and connection. Roxane is fierce, brave, and riveting — and we can’t wait to celebrate her this June.”
Gay recently launched her brand new digital magazine Gay Mag in collaboration with Medium. The weekly online publication will feature cultural criticism through personal storytelling from diverse perspectives. This venture expands upon her own extraordinary ability to contemplate and write about divisive social issues in thought-provoking ways that transcend our political leanings or what our expectations might be. Speaking of the unifying power of writing and storytelling, Gay told The Guardian in December, “What we tend to forget is that we all deal with a lot of the same things. We all deal with complicated relationships, with children, with the loss of children, with love and suffering. We have a lot in common, and I do think literature allows us to have some sort of shared empathy.”
The theme of this year’s Moth Ball is “A Wrinkle in Space and Time.” It takes place tomorrow evening in downtown New York City at Capitale and will be hosted by writer Simon Doonan, who you may know also know as the window dresser extraordinaire aka Creative Ambassador-at-Large for Barneys New York. Last year’s Moth Ball honoree was Roz Chast, a cartoonist whose work is regularly featured in the New Yorker magazine.
If you don’t have tickets yet for this epic fundraising celebration, you’re out of luck because it’s completely sold out. But if you’re a sucker for good stories, good food, a good cause, and open bars, it’s probably a good idea to start saving up for next year’s not-so-cheap ticket; this year’s tickets were worth $500, with proceeds going to The Moth’s live and radio programming — their Peabody award-winning podcast, The Moth Radio Hour, is estimated to have nearly 50 million downloads each year — as well as to fund their educational programs for underserved storytellers and their communities.