Renowned International Poet Named to Bourne Poetry Chair at Georgia Tech

Ilya Kaminsky

Posted July 1, 2018

The dean of the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts, Dr. Jacqueline J. Royster, is pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Ilya Kaminsky as the Margaret T. and Henry C. Bourne Jr. Chair in Poetry. Professor Kaminsky will join the faculty of the School of Literature, Media, and Communication, as well as become the new director of the Poetry@Tech Program. He succeeds the inaugural Bourne Chair, Thomas Lux.

Professor Kaminsky was born in Odessa, former USSR, and arrived in the United States in 1993 when his family was granted asylum. He is the author of Dancing in Odessa (Tupelo Press), Deaf Republic (forthcoming from Graywolf) and several other books, including Dark Elderberry Branch: Poems of Marina Tsvetaeva, which he co-translated with Jean Valentine (Alice James Books). He has edited many collections of poems and essays, including Ecco Anthology of International Poetry (Harper Collins) which has been called “a modern classic.”

In 2018, Professor Kaminsky was awarded the prestigious John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship in Poetry. His poems have been translated into numerous languages around the globe and his books have been published in Turkey, Netherlands, Russia, France, Mexico, Macedonia, Romania, Spain, and China, where his poetry was awarded the Yinchuan International Poetry Prize.

His other awards include the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Metcalf Award, The Whiting Writers Award, Ruth Lilly Fellowship, Poetry magazine’s Levinson Prize, Pushcart Prize, and others. Recently, he was on the shortlist for the Neusdadt International Literature Prize. His essays appear in publications such as The New York TimesThe Guardian (UK), and Boston Review.

He has previously served as the director of the Harriet Monroe Poetry Institute at Poetry Foundation, and as a professor of English and comparative literature at San Diego State University. He is an award-winning teacher who is committed to building science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) — integrating the arts into the STEM fields.

“Dr. Kaminsky’s international focus puts him squarely within our strategic plans for expanding Georgia Tech’s global footprint,” said Ivan Allen College Dean Jacqueline J. Royster. “His international profile in the world of poetry and his multi-dimensional experience working and teaching poetry within a technological context hold the promise not only of sustaining the momentum of Poetry@Tech, but also of creating the next vanguard for poetry within the 21st century technological university.”

Dr. Kaminsky will begin at Georgia Tech on August 1, 2018.

Royster added, “We are thrilled to have him with us as he continues his remarkable record as a poet, and as we carry forward Georgia Tech’s trajectory as a place for excellence in poetry, for the articulation of its relevance and importance in our contemporary world, and for how poetry can be taught in our technological age.”

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Rebecca Keane