Remembering Poet Thomas Lux

Publish date:

Poet Thomas Lux passed away this weekend on Sunday. Here's a short tribute from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.


Thomas Lux

As you may know, Lux volunteered as a former guest judge for the April PAD Challenge, and he was interviewed for this blog (read it here). He was a force within Atlanta poetry and throughout the country, but he was not an egocentric one.

I remember the first time I met him, he didn't even tell me his name, but instead asked a round of questions about me and my wife (after we'd finished reading at the Decatur Book Festival), including where I grew up, topics my blog covered, and about my children. And he asked me about other poets who read with us. It was only later that Tammy told me who I'd been talking with.

Make no mistake, his poetry is incredible, but I think more importantly he was an incredible person.

Here are some words I collected via social media about him from other poets:

"We've lost a great poet and friend of poetry. With his unruly mane of blonde hair and his gruff, warm-hearted friendliness, Tom Lux was Atlanta's literary lion. So many poets around the world can be grateful for his support and encouragement. That, and his own brilliant work, will live on." -Dan Veach

"The first time I ever met Tom Lux was at the Palm Beach Poetry Conference. He had just given a reading, and a bunch of us went to buy his book, as you do, but when we lined up to have him sign them he was gone. I walked back to my hotel (which was the hotel hosting the open mic for all the festival attendees), and there he was, sitting in the lobby, listening to each and every reader. He did that every night, the entire week." -Danielle Jones-Pruett

"He was one of my favorite teachers. And such a good man. I loved him. I'm so sorry." -Marie-Elizabeth Mali

"Tom Lux was my teacher in grad school, a wonderfully supportive one whose enthusiasm and faith and straight-to-the-point criticism filled me with hope at just the right time. Later we were colleagues at Sarah Lawrence, where Tom helped me get a job that made it possible for me and Wally to move to Provincetown -- and so allowed made us to experience the last three years of my partner's life in a very different way than we could have otherwise, with enough help and enough joy to see us through. Just this fall I visited Tom in Atlanta to read at Georgia Tech, a terrific time. He threw a party at his eccentric house in midtown; the house was full of his friends and students, and a whole wall was devoted to Bill Knott's marvelous paintings (who knew?) because Tom had taken on the massive job of editing his friend's posthumous selected poems. There he was, generous as ever, happy, in a house full of conviviality and the evidence of a happy marriage, the perennially youthful maestro, with his life around him." -Mark Doty

"He was a lovely, generous man. He often showed up at readings in Atlanta just to be supportive. I was truly honored and humbled to know him. And I'm broken hearted to hear that he is gone." -Beth Gylys

Here are a few poems by Lux that are available online:


Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53). Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.


Find more poetic posts here:


April PAD Challenge

2021 April PAD Challenge: Day 19

Write a poem every day of April with the 2021 April Poem-A-Day Challenge. For today's prompt, write an animal title poem.

Writer's Digest May/June 2021 Cover Reveal

Writer's Digest May/June 2021 Cover Reveal

Presenting the May/June 2021 issue of Writer's Digest featuring a collection of articles about how curiosity fuels writers, including the 23rd Annual 101 Best Websites for Writers and a new interview with Chris Bohjalian.

Through Another’s Eyes: An Auschwitz Survivor Inspires His Biographer

Through Another’s Eyes: An Auschwitz Survivor Inspires His Biographer

Popular lecturer and biographer Joshua M. Greene discusses the hardship of writing the biographies of Holocaust survivors, and the biography that convinced him to continue writing.

writer's digest wd presents

WD Presents: The May/June 2021 Issue, a Chance at Publication, and more!

This week, we’re excited to announce that the May/June 2021 “Curiosity” issue is now live in the WD shop, there’s still time to have your From Our Reader’s response selected for publication in the July/August 2021 “Bravery” issue, and more!

April PAD Challenge

2021 April PAD Challenge: Day 18

Write a poem every day of April with the 2021 April Poem-A-Day Challenge. For today's prompt, write an ekphrastic poem.

Personal Essay Awards

Announcing the First Annual Personal Essay Awards Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the first annual Writer's Digest Personal Essay Awards!

From Script

Movie Theatres Return While Indie Cinema and TV Turns to Horror and Beyond (From Script)

In this week’s round-up brought to us by, read movie reviews from cinephile Tom Stemple. Plus, exclusive interviews with Amazon’s Them creator and showrunner Little Marvin, horror film Jakob’s Wife director Travis Stevens, a history lesson with Dr. Rosanne Welch about trailblazer screenwriter Anita Loos, and much more!

April PAD Challenge

2021 April PAD Challenge: Day 17

Write a poem every day of April with the 2021 April Poem-A-Day Challenge. For today's prompt, write a waiting poem.


Your Story #112

Write the opening line to a story based on the photo prompt below. (One sentence only.) You can be poignant, funny, witty, etc.; it is, after all, your story.