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

2018-19 season:

SEP 06
Lunch Poems kick off event

Series Kick-off

Hosted by Geoffrey G. O’Brien, this event features distinguished faculty and staff from a wide range of disciplines introducing and reading a favorite poem. This year’s participants:

Steven Black (Bancroft Library), Catalina Cariaga (School of Law), Cindy Cox (Music), David Marno (English), Claude Potts (Doe Library), Ula Taylor (African American Studies), Raymond Telles (Ethnic Studies & the Center for Latino Policy Research), and Nancy Tran (Doe/Moffitt Library).
OCT 04
Fady Joudah

Fady Joudah

Fady Joudah's fourth and most recent poetry collection is Footnotes in the Order of Disappearance. He is the recipient of a Yale Younger Poets prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, Lannan Residency, and the Griffin International Poetry prize. He is the translator of several volumes of Arabic poetry into English. He is also a practicing physician of internal medicine in Houston, TX. 

NOV 01
Tyehimba Jess

Tyehimba Jess

Tyehimba Jess is the author of two books of poetry, Leadbelly and Olio which won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, The Midland Society Author’s Award in Poetry, and received an Outstanding Contribution to Publishing Citation from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association.  It was also nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the PEN Jean Stein Book Award, and the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award.  Leadbelly was a winner of the 2004 National Poetry Series and named one of the “Best Poetry Books of 2005” by both The Library Journal and Black Issues Book Review.

DEC 06
Mary Jo Bang

©Matt Valentine

Mary Jo Bang 

Mary Jo Bang is the author of eight books of poems—including A Doll For Throwing, Louise in Love, The Last Two Seconds, and Elegy, which received the National Book Critics Circle Award—and a translation of Dante’s Inferno, illustrated by Henrik Drescher. She has received a Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a Berlin Prize Fellowship at the American Academy of Berlin. She teaches creative writing at Washington University in St. Louis.

FEB 07
Ari Banias

Ari Banias

Ari Banias is the author of Anybody (W.W. Norton, 2016), which was named a finalist for the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and the PEN Center USA Literary Award. His poems have appeared in various journals, in Troubling The Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics, and as part of the MOTHA exhibitionTransgender Hirstory in 99 Objects. He is the recipient of fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, and Stanford University's Wallace Stegner program. Ari lives in Berkeley, teaches poetry, and works with small press books.

MAR 07
Tarfia Faizullah

Tarfia Faizullah

Tarfia Faizullah is the author of REGISTERS OF ILLUMINATED VILLAGES (Graywolf Press, 2018), and SEAM (Southern Illinois University Press, 2014), winner of a VIDA Award, a GLCA New Writers’ Award, a Milton Kessler First Book Award, Drake University Emerging Writer Award, and other honors. Her poems are published widely in periodicals and anthologies both in the United States and abroad, including Poetry Magazine, Guernica, Tin House, and The Nation, are translated into Persian, Chinese, Bengali, Tamil, and Spanish, and have been featured at the Smithsonian, the Rubin Museum of Art, and elsewhere. In 2016 she was recognized by Harvard Law School as one of 50 Women Inspiring Change. In Fall 2018, she will join the School of the Art Institute of Chicago as a Visiting Writer in Residence.

APR 04
Ben Lerner

Ben Lerner

Ben Lerner was born in Topeka, Kansas. He has received fellowships from the Fulbright, Guggenheim, and MacArthur Foundations, among other honors. He is the author of three books of poetry (The Lichtenberg Figures, Angle of Yaw, and Mean Free Path), two novels (Leaving the Atocha Station and 10:04). and a work of criticism (The Hatred of Poetry). His most recent books are collaborations: Blossom (with Thomas Demand), The Polish Rider (with Anna Ostoya), and The Snows of Venice (with Alexander Kluge). He is Distinguished Professor of English at Brooklyn College.

MAY 02
Morrison Reading Room interior

Student reading

One of the year’s liveliest 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.