The National Poetry Month Reading - 2024

The Spring Poetry Reading - 2024

Carl Phillips            •           Sam Sax           •           Jessica Tanck

Thursday, April 18, 2024
7:00 pm EDT 
(Reception begins 5:45 pm)

In-person event
Cypress Theater, 
 John Lewis Student Center at Georgia Tech

Free and open to the public

No RSVP or registration required


invites you to

The National Poetry Month Reading - 2024


Carl Phillips, Sam Sax, and Jessica Tanck


Thursday, 18 April, 2024 at 7:00 PM Eastern Time

The reading will be preceded by a reception at 5:45 pm

The reading is FREE and open to the public, and will be held in-person at the Cypress Theater in Georgia Tech's John Lewis Student Center.

For more information, contact Travis Denton via email at .


Location, Directions, & Parking

The Cypress Theater: Directions & Information

The 165-seater Cypress Theater ( is Poetry@Tech's new home, after over two decades in the Kress Auditorium at the Robert C. Williams Museum of Papermaking.

The Cypress theater is located on the first level, at the southeast corner of Georgia Tech's newly-renovated John Lewis Student Center building (, located at 350 Ferst Dr NW, Atlanta, GA 30332.

Please see the maps below for directions to the Student Center and to the Cypress Theater.

student center map


parking mapPaid visitor parking is available throughout Georgia Tech. See GT's Parking and Transportation website ( for more information.

The closest parking spaces for the event are the Visitor Area 2 (ParkMobile zone 8631) and Visitor Area 3: Student Center Deck (W02), both located at the west entrance of the student center. 

Other nearby parking is also available in the Business Services (W04) parking lot (ParkMobile zone 8616) located on Marietta St, and Visitor Area 1, located on North Avenue, just across from the Tech Tower building.

Public Transit

gold routeAttendees traveling to the event using public transport options can exit at the MARTA Midtown station, and take Georgia Tech's Stinger shuttle - Gold Route ( from the MARTA Midtown to either the Student Center or Transit Hub stops.

If you fancy a walk on one of Atlanta's beautiful spring days, you can also exit at the MARTA North Avenue and walk three quarters of a mile along North Ave and to on to Tech Pkwy to reach the Student Center.

Carl Phillips

carl phillipsCarl Phillips is the author of 16 books of poetry, most recently Then the War: And Selected Poems 2007-2020 (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2022, Carcanet, 2022), which won the 2023 Pulitzer Prize. A new book of poems, Scattered Snows, to the North, is forthcoming in early Fall 2024. Phillips’s other honors include the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Award, the Aiken Taylor Award for Modern American Poetry, and awards and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Academy of American Poets, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Library of Congress. 

Phillips has also written three prose books, most recently My Trade Is Mystery: Seven Meditations from a Life in Writing (Yale University Press, 2022); and he has translated the Philoctetes of Sophocles (Oxford University Press, 2004).

He teaches at Washington University in Saint Louis.

Bio at Poetry@Tech

Poet's Website

twitter logo@CPhillipsPoet

Sam Sax

sam sax

Sam Sax is a queer, Jewish writer and educator. Their most recent book of poems is Pig (Simon & Schuster, 2023) which Publishers Weekly called, “Vivid, sensuous, and gorgeous.” They’re the author of Madness, winner of the National Poetry Series, and Bury It, winner of the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets. Sax's first novel, Yr Dead, will be published by McSweeney’s in August 2024. 

A two-time Bay Area Grand Slam Champion, they have poems published in The New York Times, The Atlantic, Poetry Magazine, Granta, and elsewhere. Sam has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Poetry Foundation, Yaddo, Lambda Lit, and MacDowell, and currently serves as an ITALIC Lecturer at Stanford University.

Bio at Poetry@Tech

Poet's website

twitter logo@samsax1


Jessica Tanck

jessica tanckJessica Tanck is the author of Winter Here (UGA Press, 2024), winner of the 2022 Georgia Poetry Prize. A graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s MFA program. Her work has appeared in The Adroit JournalAlaska Quarterly ReviewBeloit Poetry JournalBlackbirdColorado ReviewDIAGRAMGulf CoastKenyon ReviewThe Los Angeles ReviewMeridianNew Ohio ReviewNinth Letter, and others. 

Jess lives and writes in Salt Lake City, where she is a Vice Presidential Fellow and Ph.D. student in English Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Utah. She serves as the Editor of Quarterly West

Bio at Poetry@Tech

Poet's Website

Selected Poems

Jessica Tanck


So Below


I can walk through fire, I told my mother, drunk
on the glow of sparklers, on sand cooling
in the sunset. I might have been five or six 
years old, inflated with the recklessness
and certainty that come from living
in one's imagination. Architect of sandcastles,
tender of flame, I paraded the beach in orange
swimsuit and water shoes, ready for thrill.
There was everything, here: fire and the great
water breathing, moving, cold that stretched 
all the way to the horizon. And I felt it,
that bigness. Pictured the sand crumbling 
into cakes of earth and rock below us,
how deep the world stretched on every side.
My sister and I, sparklers in hands,
zagged into evening like fireflies or bats,
weightless, moved by joy. And my grandparents
were inside, and my mother and father here
on the beach, and what wasn't protecting
me, what wasn't stretching above, what
didn't comfort me in my smallness? I can
walk through fire, I told her, and believed it. 
Stood at the threshold of glow. Having never
felt the suck and sear of it, having never nursed 
a burnt knuckle under cold water or whimpered 
for relief from a tongue of flame beneath my skin.
I can walk through fire, I said, and my mother sat 
still in her seat. Eyes locked in the flames, she said, No.
You can't. Didn't even look up, did not look at me.


(from Beloit Poetry Journal, 73.1, Spring/Summer 2023)


Sam Sax




is a woman
burying bread

beneath her lawn.
praying for summer


to make whole loaves
break in their plastic

shells through dirt
like so many hands.

worry is how i thumb
a groove in the stolen

jewel case in my back
pocket at tower

records, the man
puts his hands

on me & i’m cooked,
i’m crooked, red

handed, red thumbed.
had enough money

in my pocket
for music

& who really needs
that bad? all my father’s

overtime stocked
in our pantry.

all my mother’s
edges worried

smooth below
the river of her

boss’s hands.
who am i

who steals music
who sells drugs

because i love
how it sounds.

who sold my own
good mouth

for gold. a man
puts his hands

on me &
i’m his & i’m paid.

in the old country
women buried

what little we had
in the dirt & hoped

it would make more
better on earth.

in this country
all food is unzipped

from its plastic
& passes clean through us.

my grandmother’s
panic is a relic, is bread

unearthed from
some forgotten dust

bowl still dark
& moldy & whole.

why not eat the hand
that feeds you, i think,

why not eat the arm,
the elbow,

the shoulder? why
not eat the whole

damned body alive


(from Poetry Magazine, 2016)


Carl Phillips




There is a difference it used to make,
seeing three swans in this versus four in that
quadrant of sky. I am not imagining. It was very large, as its
effects were. Declarations of war, the timing fixed upon for a sea- departure; or,
about love, a sudden decision not to, to pretend instead to a kind
of choice. It was dramatic, as it should be. Without drama,
what is ritual? I look for omens everywhere, because they are everywhere
to be found. They come to me like strays, like the damaged,
something that could know better, and should, therefore—but does not:
a form of faith, you've said. I call it sacrifice—an instinct for it, or a habit at first, that
becomes required, the way art can become, eventually, all we have
of what was true. You shouldn't look at me like that. Like one of those saints
on whom the birds once settled freely.


(from The Rest of Love, 2004)      

Book Sales

As always, A Cappella Books, Atlanta’s oldest independent bookstore will be our official book sales partner for this event. Look for A Cappella's table outside the Cypress Theater, where you can buy books by our wonderful featured poets. We hope you’ll get a copy (or three) of their books. 

You can also order at the following links:

Recent Books

winter here cover
Jessica Tanck, Winter Here 
then the war cover
Carl Phillips, Then the War
my trade is mystery cover
Carl Phillips, My Trade is Mystery
pale colors cover
Carl Phillips, Pale Colors in a Tall Field










pig - sam sax
Sam Sax, Pig
bury it cover
Sam Sax, Bury It
madness - sam sax
Sam Sax, Madness