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Best Reading Series: A public-spirited poetry salon 

Lunch Poems

Living in or near a major college town means having constant access to a lot of geeks, a lot of Internet cafes, and a lot of world-class intellectuals in whose brilliance you can bask for free. On the first Wednesday of every month during the school year, from 12:10 to 12:50 p.m., UC Berkeley hosts its Lunch Poems series in quaint Morrison Library, which is tucked inside big Doe Library. (Can you get more poetic than a library within a library? It's like something out of Edward Lear.) Professor and former US Poet Laureate Robert Hass directs the program, which brings internationally renowned bards to read their works to a small audience in this dreamy, intimate, nostalgic space. Among 2005's readers were Lawrence Ferlinghetti and California Poet Laureate Al Young. This year's calendar included Mary Karr, author of the best-seller The Liars' Club and four volumes of poetry, demonstrating that she's more than just a knock-down, drag-out memoirist. Funded by private donors, the College of Letters & Sciences, and the Student Store, among others, the series is one of those lesser-known Berkeley perks.

Previous Winners

(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)

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