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

2019-20 season:

SEP 05
Lunch Poems kick off event

Series Kick-off

This year, the Lunch Poems Kick-Off will feature eight poets who are doctoral students in the English Department, each of whom will contextualize and read a favorite poem.

OCT 03

Jericho Brown

©John Lucas

Jericho Brown

Jericho Brown is the recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award and fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Brown’s first book, Please (2008), won the American Book Award. His second book, The New Testament (2014), won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award. He is also the author of the collection The Tradition (2019). He is an associate professor and the director of the Creative Writing Program at Emory University in Atlanta.

NOV 07

Monica Youn

©Sarah Shatz

Monica Youn

Monica Youn is the author of three books of poems, most recently BLACKACRE (2016), which won the William Carlos Williams Award of the Poetry Society of America and was also a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Kingsley Tufts Award, and longlisted for the National Book Award. Her book IGNATZ (2010) was a finalist for the National Book Award. She has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Witter Bynner Fellowship from the Library of Congress, and a Stegner Fellowship, among other awards. She teaches at Princeton and in the MFA programs at NYU and Columbia. She is a former lawyer, a daughter of Korean immigrants, and a member of the curatorial collective The Racial Imaginary Institute.

DEC 05
Margaret Ross

Margaret Ross

Margaret Ross is the author of A Timeshare. Her poems and translations appear in The New Republic, The Paris Review, and POETRY. Her honors include a Fulbright arts grant, a VSC/Luce Chinese Poetry & Translation Fellowship, and a Wallace Stegner Fellowship. She currently teaches at Stanford University where she is a Jones Lecturer.

FEB 06

Robert Hass

©Shoey Sindel

Robert Hass

Robert Hass’s many awards include the National Book Award, the Pulitzer Prize, and the National Book Critics Circle Award. Additionally, he served as U. S. Poet Laureate (1995-1997) and also founded the long-running Lunch Poems series at University of California, Berkeley where he is Distinguished Professor in Poetry and Poetics. Among his published books are Apple Trees at Olema: New and Selected Poems, Time and Materials: Poems 1997-2005 and the forthcoming Summer Snow: New Poems (HarperCollins, 2020).

MAR 05

Ocean Vuong

©Peter Bienkowski

Ocean Vuong [CANCELLED]

Ocean Vuong is the author of the internationally best-selling debut novel, On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous (Penguin Press 2019). He is also the author of the critically acclaimed poetry collection, Night Sky with Exit Wounds, a New York Times Top 10 Book of 2016, and winner of the T.S. Eliot Prize. Vuong's writings have been featured in The Atlantic, Harpers, The Nation, The New Yorker, and The New York Times. Born in Saigon, Vietnam, he lives in Northampton, Massachusetts, where he serves as an Assistant Professor in the MFA Program for Poets & Writers at UMass-Amherst.

APR 02

Mary Jo Bang

©Matt Valentine

Mary Jo Bang [CANCELLED]

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.

MAY 07
Morrison Reading Room interior

Student reading [CANCELLED]

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.