Thomas Lux

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Thomas Lux
BornThomas Norman Lux
(1946-12-10)December 10, 1946
Northampton, Massachusetts
DiedFebruary 5, 2017(2017-02-05) (aged 70)
Atlanta, Georgia
OccupationPoet, college teacher
Notable awardsKingsley Tufts Poetry Award

Thomas Lux (December 10, 1946 – February 5, 2017) was an American poet who held the Margaret T. and Henry C. Bourne, Jr. Chair in Poetry at the Georgia Institute of Technology and ran Georgia Tech's "Poetry @ Tech" program.[1][2] He was the author of fourteen books of poetry.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Thomas Lux was born in Northampton, Massachusetts, son of a milkman and a Sears & Roebuck switchboard operator, neither of whom graduated from high school. Lux was raised in Massachusetts on a dairy farm.[4]

Lux graduated from Emerson College in Boston, where he was also poet in residence from 1970–1975. His first book—Memory's Handgrenade—was published shortly after.[4]

Academic career[edit]

Lux was a member of the writing faculty at Sarah Lawrence College, where he taught for twenty-seven years, from 1975 until 2001.[3] He was also a core faculty member of the Warren Wilson M.F.A. Program for Writers. In 1996 he was a visiting professor at University of California, Irvine.[3] A former Guggenheim Fellow and three times a recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Lux received, in 1995, the $50,000 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award for his sixth collection, Split Horizons.[5] In 2003, Lux was awarded an honorary doctorate of Letters from Emerson College.[3] His poems were featured in many notable anthologies, including American Alphabets: 25 Contemporary Poets (2006). In 2012, Lux received the Robert Creeley Award.[6]

At the time of his death in February 2017, Lux was the Margaret T. and Henry C. Bourne, Jr. Chair in Poetry at the Georgia Institute of Technology where he began teaching in 2001.[4] At Georgia Tech he ran their "Poetry at Tech" program,[1] which included one of the best known poetry reading series in the country, along with community outreach classes and workshops.[7]

Before his death, Lux edited (and wrote the Introduction to) Bill Knott's posthumous publication I Am Flying into Myself: Selected Poems 1960–2014 which appeared in February 2017.[3][5]


Lux died of lung cancer at his home in Atlanta, Georgia on February 5, 2017. He is survived by his wife Jennifer Holley Lux and a daughter from a previous marriage, Claudia Lux.[5]



  • Lux, Thomas (1972). Memory's handgrenade. Cambridge, Mass.: Pym-Randall.
  • The Glassblower's Breath (1976)
  • Sunday (1979)
  • Half Promised Land (1986)
  • The Drowned River (1990)
  • Split Horizon (1994)
  • The Blind Swimmer: Selected Early Poems, 1970–1975 (1996)
  • New and Selected Poems, 1975–1995 (1997)
  • The Street of Clocks (2001)
  • The Cradle Place (2004)
  • God Particles (2008)
  • Child Made of Sand (2012)
  • Selected Poems (Bloodaxe Books, UK, 2014) ISBN 978-1-78037-115-3
  • To the Left of Time (2016)
  • The Land Sighted (chapbook, 1970)
  • Madrigal on the Way Home (chapbook, 1976)
  • Like a Wide Anvil from the Moon the Light (chapbook, 1980)
  • Massachusetts (chapbook, 1981)
  • Tarantulas on the Lifebuoy (chapbook, 1983)
  • A Boat in the Forest (chapbook, 1992)
  • Pecked to Death by Swans (chapbook, 1993)
List of poems
Title Year First published Reprinted/collected
Cow chases boys 2015 Lux, Thomas (March 23, 2015). "Cow chases boys". The New Yorker. 91 (5): 46.


  1. ^ a b "The Margaret T. and Henry C. Bourne, Jr. Chair in Poetry: Thomas Lux". Poetry at Tech. Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts. Retrieved 2012-10-21.
  2. ^ "Thomas Lux". Poetry Foundation. Poetry Foundation. 2018-03-22. Retrieved 2018-03-22.CS1 maint: others (link)
  3. ^ a b c d e "Thomas Lux – Poetry @ Tech". Retrieved 7 February 2017.
  4. ^ a b c Emerson, Bo (February 6, 2017). "Noted Georgia Poet Thomas Lux dies". Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
  5. ^ a b c Grimes, William (22 February 2017). "Thomas Lux, Poet Who Wrote of Life's Absurdities, Dies at 70" – via
  6. ^ "Robert Creeley Foundation  » Award – Robert Creeley Award". Retrieved 2018-03-22.
  7. ^ Lux describes the genesis and development of the program in "The Poem Is a Bridge: Poetry@Tech," in: Humanistic Perspectives in a Technological World, ed. Richard Utz, Valerie B. Johnson, and Travis Denton (Atlanta: School of Literature, Media, and Communication, Georgia Institute of Technology, 2014), pp. 72–5.

External links[edit]