Celebrate National Poetry Month with the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts

Celebrate National Poetry Month with Poetry@Tech; the School of Literature, Media, and Communication; the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts; and the Library.
April is National Poetry Month.

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Edna St. Vincent Millay once wrote that April “comes like an idiot, babbling and strewing flowers.”

As true as that may be, the month has something else going for it, as well: It’s National Poetry Month. And we’re here for it.

All month long, Poetry@Tech, a unit of the School of Literature, Media, and Communication, and the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts will be celebrating verse in all its forms with exhibitions, poetry readings, and more.

“Poetry has been around for thousands of years and there’s a reason why,” said Victoria Chang, the Margaret T. and Henry C. Bourne Jr. Chair in Poetry, and director of Poetry@Tech. “Poems can get at our emotions in different ways from other art forms. Plus, poetry writing is really fun — sometimes it feels like solving a puzzle that is ultimately unsolvable, but fun to try solving.”

In addition to teaching poetry to students across campus, Chang and her colleagues at Poetry@Tech put on poetry readings, publish the Terminus literary magazine, and promote the value of poetry to the community. Poetry@Tech was founded in 2001 by luminary poet Thomas Lux.

This month’s celebration begins with something you've probably already noticed, if you've been out and about on campus: yard signs bearing snippets of poems and quotes from writers such as Ada Limón, Audre Lorde, Lucille Clifton, and Chang.

Starting Monday, you can also swing by the Library to check out readings of poems by some of Poetry@Tech’s guest readers this year — Chang, Jessica Tanck, Sam Sax, James Davis May, Sasha Stiles, and others — on the Media Bridge. The Library also will display a curated selection of poetry books near the Library’s Popular Reading area on the first floor of Price Gilbert.

We’ll also celebrate throughout the month on X (formerly Twitter), Instagram, and other social media channels with posts featuring students discussing some of their favorite poems and what poetry means.

On Thursday evening, you can attend “Poetry@Tech: Then and Now,” hosted by former Georgia Tech President G. Wayne Clough and Bruce McEver, a businessperson and poet whose generous donations to Poetry@Tech have helped the program thrive over its 24 years of existence.

We round out the celebration on April 18 with two events. First, join Sax for a poetry performance workshop, part of the Arts@Tech Festival, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the lobby of the Fest Center for the Arts.

That evening, Sax, Tanck, and Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Carl Philips will read selections from their work during our National Poetry Month Poetry Reading. The event starts at 6 p.m. with a reception featuring light snacks and drinks, followed by the reading at 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

“I hope our students walking around campus will see the yard signs with these lines of verse, and it gives them a moment to pause, not thinking about this test or that project, and reflect on their own creative impulse,” said Travis Denton, associate director of Poetry@Tech.

“We hope, too, that celebrating National Poetry Month at Georgia Tech will raise awareness of Poetry@Tech across campus and let students, faculty, and staff know a world-class poetry reading series is available to them, as well as poetry and poetry writing classes, and that everyone is welcome to take part,” Denton said.

You can find details on these happenings and more on the Poetry@Tech National Poetry Month page.

Now, get your National Poetry Month off to a great start and go write a poem. You can do it!