A noontime poetry reading series

Photo Nico Chen/UC Berkeley

All readings from 12:10 to 12:50 p.m. on the first Thursday of the month
Admission free Morrison Library in Doe Library Map

2015-16 season:

SEP 02
Lunch Poems kick off event

Series kick-off

Hosted by Robert Hass, this event features distinguished faculty and staff from a wide range of disciplines introducing and reading a favorite poem. This year’s participants: First Lady of UC-Berkeley Janaki Bahkle (History), Joan Bieder (Journalism), Nadia Ellis (English), Hannah Ginsborg (Philosophy), Coach Lindsay Gottlieb (Women’s Basketball), William F. Hanks (Anthropology), Liladhar Pendse (Library), and Ken Ueno (Music).

OCT 01
John Shoptaw

John Shoptaw

John Shoptaw is the author of Times Beach, winner of the 2015 Notre Dame Book Prize, a book of poems which evokes the cultural and environmental history of the Mississippi River watershed. He was raised in the drained Mississippi floodplain of the Missouri Bootheel, where he picked cotton, worked in a lumber mill, and was baptized in a drainage ditch. He has also published a critical study, On the Outside Looking Out: John Ashbery's Poetry (Harvard UP); and a libretto on President Lincoln's assassination for an opera by Eric Sawyer, Our American Cousin (BMOP Sound). He teaches poetry and ecopoetry in the English Department of the University of California at Berkeley.

NOV 05
Toi Derricotte

©Lynda Koolish

Toi Derricotte

Toi Derricotte's most recent book is the Undertaker's Daughter. Her honors include the 2012 Paterson Poetry Prize for Sustained Literary Achievement and the 2012 PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry. Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, American Poetry Review and the Paris Review. With Cornelius Eady, she co-founded Cave Canem in 1996 and she is a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.

DEC 03
Gregory Pardlo

Gregory Pardo

Gregory Pardlo's collection Digest won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry. Digest was also shortlisted for the 2015 NAACP Image Award and is a current finalist for the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award. His other honors include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York Foundation for the Arts; his first collection Totem received the APR/Honickman Prize in 2007.

FEB 04
Judy Halebsky

Judy Halebsky

Judy Halebsky is the author of two collections of poetry, Tree Line and Sky=Empty which won the New Issues Prize. Her honors include fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Millay Colony and the Japanese Ministry of Culture. Originally from Halifax, Nova Scotia, she now lives in Oakland and teaches at Dominican University of California.

MAR 03
David Gewanter

David Gewanter

David Gewanter is author of three poetry books, In the Belly, The Sleep of Reason, and War Bird (all from U. Chicago Press), and co-editor of Robert Lowell: Collected Poems (FSG & Faber). His awards include the John Zacharis First Book Award, James Laughlin Award finalist, Ambassador Book Award, Hopwood Award, Whiting Award, Eisner Prize, Academy of American Poets prize, and others. He teaches at Georgetown and lives in DC. His new manuscript of poems is Fort Necessity.

APR 07
Hannah Sanghee Park

Hannah Sanghee Park

Hannah Sanghee Park is the author of The Same-Different (LSU Press, 2015), the 2014 winner of The Academy of American Poets Walt Whitman Award. She holds degrees from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and the Writing for Screen & Television Program at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. A former U.S. Fulbright Scholar and recipient of artist grants from Washington and Iowa, Park received honors from The Poetry Foundation (Ruth Lilly Fellowship), The MacDowell Colony, and elsewhere. Park was a 2015 CBS Writers Program Fellow. She was named one of Variety’s "110 Students to Watch" for her film and television writing.

MAY 03
Morrison Reading Room interior

Student reading

One of the year’s most lively events, the student reading includes winners of the following prizes: Academy of American Poets, Cook, Rosenberg, and Yang, as well as students nominated by Berkeley’s creative writing faculty, Lunch Poems volunteers, and representatives from student publications.