First Annual Bourne Poetry Reading Features U.S. Poet Laureates and Pulitzer Prize Winner

Ivan Allen College, the School of Literature, Communication and Culture, and Thomas Lux, the Bourne Chair in Poetry, present the first Annual Bourne Poetry Reading, an evening of stellar poetic talent, to the Georgia Tech and Atlanta community on Monday, Oct. 28 at 7 p.m. at the Ferst Center for the Arts. The event is free and open to the public but requires a ticket. [The event sold out two weeks in advance]

The Honorable Andrew Young, former Mayor of Atlanta, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, and Chairman of GoodWorks International, will introduce poets Lucille Clifton, one of America's most revered poets, winner of the National Book Award and a past Poet Laureate of the State of Maryland; Billy Collins, the best-selling poet in the country and current U.S. Poet Laureate; Stephen Dobyns, acclaimed poet and author of twenty novels, now translated into twenty languages, two of them, movies; and Rita Dove, a Pulitzer Prize winner and a past U.S. Poet Laureate, 1993-1995.

More poetry events are planned throughout the 2002-2003 school year as part of a bold commitment to bring the very best poets and writers in the country to Tech, to put poetry in students' curriculum, and reach beyond the campus to give the gift of poetry to the City of Atlanta. These programs are made possible by two endowments established to bring poetry and writing to campus by Industrial Engineering alumnus H. Bruce McEver, a successful businessman and a published poet, and professor emeritus Henry C. Bourne, Jr. In fact, these endowed Chairs are attracting some of the best poetry talent to spend a semester teaching Georgia Tech students and reaching out to the Atlanta community as the McEver Visiting Chair in Writing.

As the Bourne Chair in Poetry, Lux will invite a different internationally known poet or writer to hold the McEver Visiting Chair in Writing during the spring semester each year. Stephen Dobyns, will be the McEver chairholder in spring 2003, and Billy Collins, the current U.S. Poet Laureate, will sit as the McEver Visiting Chair in Writing, spring 2004.

"When we hear that astounded "'Poetry at Tech?'" says Lux, "we are delighted. The Margaret T. and Henry C. Bourne, Jr. Chair in Poetry and the H. Bruce McEver Visiting Chair in Writing are extraordinary gifts, and we will make extraordinary efforts to honor their generosity and vision."

In spring 2001 Lux was the first holder of the McEver Visiting Chair, and this fall he returned as the permanent Bourne Chair in Poetry.

"It is a privilege," says Lux, "to come to Georgia Tech at a time when it is expanding and enriching its humanities programs, and I intend to serve the educational needs and creative quests of Tech students with a whole heart and all the energies and experience I have in the field."

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