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Lunch Poems Series title

All Readings from 12:10 to 12:50 p.m. on the First Thursday of the Month
Admission Free Morrison Library in Doe Library UC Berkeley


Series Kick-Off, 09.02.10 | Juliana Spahr, 10.07.10 [Location change] | Indigo Moor, 11.04.10

Kay Ryan, 12.02.10 | Camille T. Dungy, 02.03.11 | Truong Tran, 03.03.11
Geoffrey G. O'Brien, 04.07.11Student Reading, 05.05.11


 View last year's series


September 2, 2010


Hosted by Robert Hass and University Librarian Thomas C. Leonard, this event features distinguished faculty and staff from a wide range of disciplines introducing and reading a favorite poem. This year's participants: Jack Clark (Rugby), Alex Filippenko (Astronomy), Sheehan Grant (Library), Suzanne Guerlac (French), Nicholas Jewell (Biostatistics and Statistics), Shayee Khanaka (Librarian, Middle Eastern Studies), Rodolfo Mendoza-Denton (Psychology), Line Mikkelsen (Linguistics), David Presti (Molecular and Cell Biology), and Willis St. Hill (Housing Facilities).

 Watch the series kick-off on YouTube


Juliana Spahr

October 7, 2010


Special off-site location: YWCA Auditorium, 2600 Bancroft Way (at Bowditch, across from Hearst Memorial Gym), Berkeley, CA 94704
Note: This is not a program of the Berkeley YWCA.
Juliana Spahr is a poet, editor, literary critic, and Associate Professor of English at Mills College. Her 2005 volume of poems, This Connection of Everyone with Lungs, chronicled the buildup to the latest U. S. invasion of Iraq. Her forthcoming Well Then There Now collects essays and poems about the various places where she has lived and reflects her interest in urban geographies and their ecologies. Spahr received the 2009 O. B. Hardison, Jr. Poetry Prize for teaching and literature.


Indigo Moor

November 4, 2010


Charlotte, NC native Indigo Moor has authored two books of poetry: Tap-Root and Through the Stonecutter's Window, winner of the 2009 Cave Canem Northwestern University Prize. Pedestal Magazine said "If Jean Toomer had written his landmark Cane in 2007 instead of 1923, it might well have looked something like Indigo Moor's vivid and soulful Tap-Root." Moor lives in Rancho Cordova, CA where he works as a physical design engineer.

 Watch Indigo Moor on YouTube


Kay Ryan
Christina Koci Hernandez photo

December 2, 2010


Sixteenth U. S. Poet Laureate and native Californian Kay Ryan has published several collections of poetry, including The Niagara River, Say Uncle, The Jam Jar Lifeboat & Other Novelties Exposed and most recently The Best of It: New and Selected Poems. About her work, J. D. McClatchy has said: "Her poems are compact, exhilarating, strange affairs, like Erik Satie miniatures or Joseph Cornell boxes. She is an anomaly in today's literary culture: as intense and elliptical as Dickinson, as buoyant and rueful as Frost." Ryan's awards include the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, a Guggenheim fellowship, and four Pushcart Prizes. She was named to the "It List" by Entertainment Weekly and one of her poems has been permanently installed at New York's Central Park Zoo. Ryan is currently a Chancellor of The Academy of American Poets.


Camille Dungy

February 3, 2011


Camille T. Dungy is author of Suck on the Marrow and What to Eat, What to Drink, What to Leave for Poison, editor of Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry (UGA, 2009), and co-editor of From the Fishouse: An Anthology of Poems that Sing, Rhyme, Resound, Syncopate, Alliterate, and Just Plain Sound Great. Dungy has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Virginia Commission for the Arts, Cave Canem, and Bread Loaf. She is Associate Professor of Creative Writing at San Francisco State University.

 Watch Camille T. Dungy on YouTube


Truong Tran

March 3, 2011


Truong Tran is a poet and visual artist. His publications include, The Book of Perceptions, Placing The Accents, dust and conscience (awarded the San Francisco Poetry Center Book Prize in 2002), within the margin and Four Letter Words. He is the recipient of San Francisco Arts Commission Individual Artist Grants in poetry and visual arts, the California Arts Council Grant, the Creative Work Fund Grant, and the Fund For Poetry Grant. His artwork has been shown at Intersection for the Arts, SOMARTS, and Kearny Street Workshop. In February of 2010, Tran had his first solo exhibition at The Mina Dresden Gallery. Tran lives in San Francisco and is a Visiting Professor of Poetry at Mills College.

 Watch Truong Tran on YouTube


Geoffrey G. O'Brien

April 7, 2011


Geoffrey G. O'Brien is the author of Green and Gray and The Guns and Flags Project, and co-author of 2A. His third collection, Metropole, is forthcoming from The University of California Press in 2011. He is also the author of two chapbooks, Poem with No Good Lines, (Hand Held Editions) and Hesiod (The Song Cave). He is an Assistant Professor in the English Department at UC Berkeley and also teaches at San Quentin State Prison.

 Watch Geoffrey G. O'Brien on YouTube


May 5, 2011


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.

 Watch the student reading on YouTube


For more poetry events on the UC Berkeley campus, please see the web page of the Holloway Series.