UC Berkeley Lunch Poems

Morrison Library is full of patrons listening to Lunch Poems
A packed house listens to poet and Professor Robert Hass at Lunch Poems in Morrison Library. (Photo by Jami Smith/UC Berkeley Library)

Lunch Poems, Berkeley’s storied noontime poetry series, will be held in Morrison Library inside Doe Library. The series is free and open to all audiences.


dg nanouk okpik 
Oct. 5

portrait of okpik
Photo by Jode Perez

dg nanouk okpik is an Iñupiaq-Inuit poet from south-central Alaska. She is the author of Blood Snow, published in 2022 by Wave Books, and Corpse Whale, which received the American Book Award. Her work has been published in several anthologies, including New Poets of Native Nations and Infinite Constellations, from this year. Her awards include a 2023 Windham-Campbell Prize from Yale University and the 2022 May Sarton Award for Poetry from the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. okpik lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where she is a Lannan Foundation Fellow at the Institute of American Indian Arts.


Kay Gabriel 
Nov. 2

portrait of gabriel
Photo by Tess Mayer

Kay Gabriel is a poet and essayist. Her research focuses on contemporary anglophone poetry and poetics, trans studies, tragedy, adaptation, classical reception, and translation studies. She has taught at Princeton University, where she received her doctorate in classics, the Prison Teaching Initiative, the Bard Microcollege at Brooklyn Public Library, Naropa University, and the Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church. With Andrea Abi-Karam, she co-edited We Want It All: An Anthology of Radical Trans Poetics, which was nominated for the Lambda Literary and Publishing Triangle awards. She is the author of the collections Kissing Other People or the House of Fame and A Queen in Bucks County.


Jesse Nathan
Dec. 7

portrait of nathan
Photo by Brett Hall Jones

Jesse Nathan was raised in Northern California and rural Kansas. His first book of poems, Eggtooth, was published by Unbound Edition Press in 2023. Nathan’s poetry has appeared in The New York Review of Books, The Paris Review, The New Republic, The American Poetry Review, The Kenyon Review, BOMB, The Nation, The Believer, Zyzzyva, and the inaugural issue of Revel, among other magazines. His work has been supported by fellowships from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Stanford University, the Arts Research Center at UC Berkeley, Bread Loaf, the Community of Writers, the Ashbery Home School, and the Kansas Arts Commission.


Courtney Faye Taylor
Feb. 1

portrait of taylor
Photo by Lucas Carpenter

Courtney Faye Taylor is a writer and visual artist. She is the author of Concentrate, which was selected by Rachel Eliza Griffiths as the winner of the Cave Canem Poetry Prize. Concentrate was also awarded the 2023 Four Quartets Prize from the Poetry Society of America, and was named a finalist for the NAACP Image Awards, the Lambda Literary Awards, and the Society of Midland Authors Award. The collection has been featured in Publishers Weekly, Essence magazine, and the Los Angeles Times, and has been named among the “Best Poetry of the Last Year” by Ms. Magazine. Taylor earned her bachelor’s degree from Agnes Scott College and her MFA from the University of Michigan Helen Zell Writers’ Program. She is the winner of the 92Y Discovery Prize and an Academy of American Poets Prize.

Esther Belin
March 7

portrait of belin
Photo by Carrie Phillips

A Diné (Navajo) multimedia artist and writer, Esther Belin is the author of From the Belly of My Beauty, which won the American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation, and Of Cartography, both from the University of Arizona Press. She also served as an editor of The Diné Reader. She is a graduate of UC Berkeley, the Institute of American Indian Arts, and Antioch University. She considers the following locations her homeland: LA, Durango, and Diné bike'yah.



Brandon Shimoda
April 4

portrait of shimoda
Photo by Scott Tsuchitani

Brandon Shimoda is the author of several books of poetry and prose, including: The Grave on the Wall, recipient of the PEN Open Book Award; Evening Oracle, recipient of the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America; and his two-volume Tucson/desert book, The Desert. His latest work, Hydra Medusa, was published by Nightboat Books this year. He is an associate professor at Colorado College, and curator of the Hiroshima Library, an itinerant reading room/collection of books on the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.


Available in an alternate format

To request this document in an alternative format, such as large-print or electronic, please contact the Library Communications Office at librarycommunications@berkeley.edu.

If you require accommodations to participate in this event, please contact Coordinator Noah Warren at poems-library@berkeley.edu or 401-632-8032, at least 7-10 days before the event. 

The Lunch Poems series, founded by Professor Robert Hass, is supported by Dr. and Mrs. Tom Colby, the UC Berkeley Library, the Morrison Library Fund, the Arts Research Center, the UC Berkeley English Department, the Deans’ Office of the College of Letters & Science, and Poets & Writers, Inc. For more information or to be added to the Lunch Poems mailing list, please email poems-library@berkeley.edu or follow @PoemsLunch on Twitter.