Thomas Lux - In Memoriam

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The Cortland Review dedicates its 2017 Spring Feature to the memory of THOMAS LUX, masterful poet, beloved teacher, devoted father, committed friend, staunch advocate of poets and all things poetry--generous with his time, his money, his energies and, most especially, generous with his great big, unabashed smile.

John Keats wrote:
     I am certain of nothing but the holiness of the
     heart's affections and the truth of the imagination.

In fifteen books of poems, Lux has not once failed his own heart's affections with undeniable truths springing from his imagination. He has not once, either, failed his own charming, strikingly inventive humor, catching readers off guard with a sweetness and grace, to be melted and, at the same time, learning hard things about the business of being human unknowable except for Lux's profound compassion in poems that David Rigsbee notes "declare themselves on the side of the humble, the victim, the disenfranchised, the discountenanced--those outnumbered by irresistible (and often unseen) forces."

We are proud to offer tributes written by Lux's friends, colleagues and students and recorded in their own voices as well as their favorite Lux poems, here in audio by Tom. We hope you'll settle in to meet Tom again in offerings from Susan Berlin, Laure-Anne Bosselaar, Elena Karina Byrne, Billy Collins, Miles Coon, Shawn Delgado, Travis Denton, Stuart Dischell, Kim Dower, Stephen Dunn, Robert Fanning, Susan Guma, Naomi Jaffa, Kenneth J. Knoespel, Gerry LaFemina, James Langford, Michael Laskey, Seth Michelson, Andrew Motion, Dean Parkin, Michael Ryan, Vivek Sharma, John Skoyles and Marc Straus. We're pleased also to offer the personal essay, "Ode to Tom," by Chard deNiord, and the literary essay, "On Lux's Style: An Appreciation," by David Rigsbee.

YOUR INVITATION to ENLARGE THE TRIBUTE. When you finish reading here, please visit The Cortland Review on Facebook. Sign up if you're not already a friend and share your own story, your favorite Lux poem, something elegiac, your own poem to, about or for Tom, your own personal photos taken of and/or with Tom. Anything. We hope every reader who knew Tom or his poems will join us to enlarge our tribute on the page.

Special thanks to each of you who contributed your thoughts, reminding us who THOMAS LUX was in life; to those who contributed photos; to each of you who will continue the tribute on our Facebook page; to Eric Berlin, who with his sharp, editorial eye made sure we got it right; to Seth Michelson, who helped find audio recordings of Tom's readings; to Rick Tracy, who manages all our photos; to David Moody for all his technical work and audio expertise and especially to Guy Shahar, who created this space, designed what makes it work and who's pushed all the right buttons to get it to you.

For more of THOMAS LUX in TCR pages:

Here, then, is THOMAS LUX--larger-than-life and all-heart, funny, quirky, spontaneous, confident, compassionate, magnanimous and, with every breath, perfectly real. We'll never know another THOMAS LUX. Rest in Peace, good friend.

Ginger Murchison
Editor in Chief
The Cortland Review