The 19th Annual Bourne Poetry Reading

[UPDATE] We'd like to thank everyone who joined us for the incredible reading by Danez and Ross on 1st October. We had over 370 people in attendance from across the United States and indeed, from around the world, making our first ever virtual event a magnificent success.

The 19th Annual Bourne Poetry Reading will take place on 1 October 2020 at 7 pm. Our (virtual) doors open at 6:45 pm Eastern Time.

As always, the reading is FREE and open to the public.

We have a great line-up for the reading, featuring poets Danez Smith and Ross Gay. See more about our featured poets in the sections below.

The web link for the event and information for how to join is below, and on the tab to the right. Keep an eye on this page for any updates.

For more information, contact Travis Denton via email at .

Book Orders

As always, A Cappella Books, Atlanta’s oldest independent bookstore will be our official book sales partner for this event. We hope you’ll get a copy (or two) of Ross’s and Danez’s books. See the Book sales tab for more information, or search for the poets on their website.

Danez Smith

Danez Smith

Danez Smith is a Black, Queer, Poz writer & performer from St. Paul, MN. Danez is the author of Don’t Call Us Dead (Graywolf Press, 2017), winner of the Forward Prize for Best Collection, the Midwest Booksellers Choice Award, and a finalist for the National Book Award. They also wrote [insert] boy (YesYes Books, 2014), winner of the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry. They are the recipient of fellowships from the Poetry Foundation, the McKnight Foundation, the Montalvo Arts Center, Cave Canem, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Danez's work has been featured widely, appearing on platforms such as BuzzFeed, The New York Times, PBS NewsHour, Best American Poetry, Poetry Magazine, and on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Danez is a member of the Dark Noise Collective and is the co-host of VS with Franny Choi, a podcast sponsored by the Poetry Foundation and Postloudness. Danez’s third collection, Homie, was published by Graywolf in January 2020.

Ross Gay


Ross Gay is the author of four books of poetry: Against Which; Bringing the Shovel Down; Be Holding; and Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude, winner of the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award and the 2016 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. His new poem, Be Holding, will be released from the University of Pittsburgh Press in September of 2020. His collection of essays, The Book of Delights, was released by Algonquin Books in 2019.

Ross is also the co-author, with Aimee Nezhukumatathil, of the chapbook "Lace and Pyrite: Letters from Two Gardens," in addition to being co-author, with Rosechard Wehrenberg, of the chapbook, "River." He is a founding editor, with Karissa Chen and Patrick Rosal, of the online sports magazine Some Call it Ballin', in addition to being an editor with the chapbook presses Q Avenue and Ledge Mule Press. Ross is a founding board member of the Bloomington Community Orchard, a non-profit, free-fruit-for-all food justice and joy project. He also works on The Tenderness Project with Shayla Lawson and Essence London. He has received fellowships from Cave Canem, the Bread Loaf Writer's Conference, and the Guggenheim Foundation. Ross teaches at Indiana University.

Web Stream Information

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Poetry@Tech 2020-21 season is going virtual. Which means, not only are our readings FREE and open to the public, as always, but you can attend them from anywhere in the world!

We will use BlueJeans to live broadcast the readings.

To attend the 19th Annual Bourne Poetry Reading with Danez Smith and Ross Gay on 1 October 2020, follow the instructions below. The reading will begin at 7 pm Eastern Time, but our (virtual) doors open at 6:45 pm ET.

Web stream information:

Joining the reading is easy - just choose the platform that works best for you, and follow the instructions below:

Join via your Computer’s Web Browser:

Join on your Mobile Device:

  1. Open the link above
  2. Download the app if you don’t have it already.
  3. Enter event ID : hxhjpkxu

Join by Phone:

Dial one of the following numbers, enter the participant PIN followed by # to confirm:

  • +1 (415) 466-7000 (US), PIN: 9717405 #
  • +1 (760) 699-0393 (US), PIN: 7382869779 #

Book Sales

As always, A Cappella Books, Atlanta’s oldest independent bookstore will be our official book sales partner for this event. We hope you’ll get a copy (or two) of Ross’s and Danez’s books. You can order at the following links:

Ross Gay, Be Holding
Ross Gay, Be Holding
Ross Gay, Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude cover
Ross Gay, Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude
Ross Gay, The Book of Delights cover
Ross Gay, the Book
of Delights
Danez Smith, Homie cover
Danez Smith, Homie