Poet Thomas Lux (Courtesy the Poetry Foundation)

Award-winning poet and Georgia Tech professor Thomas Lux died Sunday at the age of 70 after battling cancer. Lux had been the Bourne Professor of Poetry at Georgia Tech since 2001, as well as director of the McEver Visiting Writers program and director and host of the popular Poetry at Tech reading series.

According to the Poetry Foundation, Lux’s many awards and honors included the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, a Guggenheim fellowship, a Mellon fellowship, an honorary degree from Emerson College, and three grants from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Among his 14 books of poetry were “Memory’s Handgrenade,” “Split Horizon,” “The Street of Clocks,” “The Cradle Place, “God Particles”  and last year’s “To the Left of Time.”

Thomas Lux speaks during a Poetry at Tech reading.

Discussing his poetry, Lux commented in a Los Angeles Times interview, “I like to make the reader laugh—and then steal that laugh, right out of the throat. Because I think life is like that, tragedy right alongside humor.”

During his time in Atlanta, Lux, a native of Northampton, MA,  was well-known for supporting and encouraging local poets, and was a frequent face at readings and open mics in the city. After Poetry at Tech readings, Lux opened his Midtown home for literary parties that lasted well into the night.

There have been no details released on funeral arrangements or a memorial services at this time.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.