Poetry and the Senses Spring 2020 Events


A straight rain is rare and doors have suspicions
and I hold that names begin histories
and that the last century was a cruel one.
— Lyn Hejinian

ARC is thrilled to bring six poets to the UC Berkeley and Bay Area communities this spring for readings that are free and open to the public. Please join us for three evenings of conversations that mine the seam of emergency and celebrate Poetry and the Senses.


Indira Allegra, Chiyuma Elliott, and Lyn Hejinian

Poetry and the Senses Program Launch/Readings + Conversation

Tuesday, February 04, 2020
Morrison Library, UC Berkeley
5:30 – 7:00pm: Readings + Conversation
7:00 – 7:30pm: Reception + Celebration

The launch party for our “Poetry and the Senses” program sponsored by Engaging the Senses Foundation, this event will include local poets Indira Allegra, Chiyuma Elliott, and Lyn Hejinian, who will offer readings and comments followed by a conversation. How does poetry offer a model for engaging the world, and how can we think of it as a political or ethical resource?

Please see event details here


Danez Smith + Patricia Smith

Readings + Conversation

Monday, March 16, 2020
This event was postponed to Fall 2020 due to the social distancing guidelines for group events in conjunction with the Coronavirus. Dates available soon!

Please join us for an evening of fierce readings and conversation with nationally acclaimed poets Danez Smith and Patricia Smith. This event is part of the Poetry and the Senses program at the Arts Research Center, in partnership with Engaging the Senses Foundation, and is part of the Berkeley Arts + Design Mondays series. 

Please see event details here


Joy Harjo Reading

in conversation with Beth Piatote

Wednesday, April 22, 2020
5:30 – 7pm PDT
The full reading is available on YouTube until May 31, 2020, here.

Join us for an evening of reading and conversation live and online with the 23rd U.S. Poet Laureate, Joy Harjo. She is the first Native American to hold the position. Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Joy Harjo is an internationally known award-winning poet, writer, performer, and saxophone player of the Mvskoke people/Muscogee Creek Nation. She will be in conversation with Beth Piatote, writer and associate professor of Native American Studies at UC Berkeley. This event is part of ARC’s 2020 Poetry & the Senses initiative exploring the theme “emergency” (more info here).

Please see event details here