Henry C. Bourne created the Bourne Chair in Poetry to ensure that Georgia Tech students will always have an opportunity for first-rate instruction in the great poetry of the world. He considers it especially important that, in the highly specialized and technical areas of engineering, science, and management, students' aptitudes for the humanities are nurtured and supported as a foundation for life-long learning.
Ilya Kaminsky was born in Odessa, former USSR, and arrived in USA in 1993, when his family was granted asylum. He is the author of Dancing in Odessa (Tupelo Press), Deaf Republic (Graywolf Press in US and Faber & Faber in UK) 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." His poems have been included in Best American Poetry and Pushcart Prize anthologies, and translated into numerous languages around the globe. 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 Guggenheim Fellowship, Lannan Fellowship, 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 Times, The New York Times Magazine, The Guardian (UK) and Boston Review. In the past, he has served as the Director of the Harriet Monroe Poetry Institute at Poetry Foundation and the Director of Master of Fine Arts Program and Professor of English and Comparative Literature at San Diego State University.