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UC Berkeley Press Release

Lunch Poems 2004-2005 season about to start

– Former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins will highlight the eclectic lineup for the University of California, Berkeley's 2004-2005 Lunch Poems reading series.

The free lunchtime series, under the direction of UC Berkeley professor and another former U.S. Poet Laureate, Robert Hass, kicks off on Thursday, Sept. 2 with readings by staff and faculty. All programs are open to the public.
Collins, a professor of English at City University of New York and a broadly popular author of seven collections of poetry, will read at noon on Thursday, Dec. 2, in Zellerbach Playhouse.

Other poets scheduled to read include:

* Harryette Mullen, an associate professor of English and African American Studies at UCLA, will read Thursday, Oct. 7. Her fifth poetry collection, "Sleeping with the Dictionary," was a finalist for the National Book Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in Poetry.

* Frank Paino, author of "Out of Eden" and "The Rapture of Matter," is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 4. He formerly wrote under the name of Frankie Paino, before changing genders.

* Barbara Guest, a UC Berkeley alumna, Berkeley poet and author of more than 10 volumes of poetry, reads Thursday, Feb. 3. Her latest works include "Rocks on a Platter" and "Miniatures and Other Poems." Guest has received the Frost Medal for Distinguished Lifetime Achievement by the Poetry Society of America.

* Eugene Ostashevskey, author of "The Off-Centaur," reads Thursday, March 3. He is translating Russian absurdist poetry, and is editor and co-translator of a forthcoming anthology on the topic.

* Suji Kwock Kim, recipient of the 2002 Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets for her debut poetry collection, "Notes From the Divided Country," is scheduled Thursday, April 7. She teaches English at Drew University in New York.

* Thursday, May 5, will feature award-winning student poets and other students nominated by the campus's creative writing faculty.

All but the Collins reading are in the Morrison Library of Doe Library on the campus.

To listen to recordings of past readings, visit: http://lunchpoems.berkeley.edu./. For more information about the series, call (510) 642-0137.