Berkeley Talks


Poet Alex Dimitrov reads from 'Love and Other Poems'

Ep. 155
Alex Dimitrov reads from his 2021 book of poems Love and Other Poems. The Sept. 8 reading was part of the UC Berkeley Library’s monthly event, Lunch Poems.Here’s “July,” one of the poems Dimitrov read during the event:At last it’s impossible to think of anythingas I swim through the heat on Broadway and disappear in the Strand. Nobodyon these shelves knows who I ambut I feel so seen, it’s easy to be aimlessnot having written a line for weeks.Outside New York continues to be New York.I was half expecting it to be LAbut no luck. No luck with the guyI’m seeing, no luck with money,no luck with becoming a saint.I do not want you, perfect life.I decided to stay a poet long ago,I know what I’m in for. And stillthe free space of the skylures me back out—not evencanonical beauty can keep me inside(and beauty, I’m done with you too).I guess, after all, I’ll take love—sweeping, all-consuming,grandiose love. Don’t just callor ask to go to a movie.That’s off my list too!I want absolutely everythingon this Friday afternoonwhen not one person is looking for me.I’m crazy and lonely.I’ve never been boring.And believe it or not, I’m all I want.Alex Dimitrov is the author of three books of poetry — Love and Other Poems, Together and by Ourselves and Begging for It — and the chapbook American Boys. His poems have been published in the New Yorker, the New York Times, the Paris Review and Poetry. He has taught writing at Princeton University, Columbia University and New York University, among other institutions. Previously, he was the senior content editor at the Academy of American Poets, where he edited the popular series Poem-a-Day and American Poets magazine.Lunch Poems is an ongoing poetry reading series at Berkeley that began in 2014. All readings happen from 12:10 p.m. to 12:50 p.m. on the first Thursday of the month. Find upcoming talks on the Lunch Poems website and watch videos of past readings on the Lunch Poems YouTube channel.Read a transcript and listen to the episode on Berkeley News.Music by Blue Dot Sessions.Photo by Sylvie Rosokoff. 

Indigenous access, political ecology in settler states

Ep. 153
Clint Carroll, an associate professor of ethnic studies at the University of Colorado Boulder, and a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, gives a talk called "Reuniting with Our Lands and Waters: Indigenous Access and Political Ecology in Settler States.""The early periods of what is known as the U.S. Federal Indian Policy are defined in terms of the specific type of dispossession they entailed," begins Carroll, author of the 2015 book Roots of Our Renewal: Ethnobotany and Cherokee Environmental Governance. "While the removal era of the 1830s forcibly relocated tribes hundreds and thousands of miles from their traditional homelands, the creation of reservations beginning in the mid-1800s also entailed numerous relocations via treaties and land cessions."The early U.S. conservation movement, coinciding roughly with the establishment of Indian reservations, excluded Native peoples from former hunting-and-gathering areas in the name of wilderness preservation," Carroll continues. "The allotment era, from about 1887 to 1934, broke up Indigenous systems of communal land ownership and opened Native lands to speculators in the market. Since this time, access has become a principle issue for Native peoples — specifically, the ability to access lands and waters through which to enact culturally sustaining practices and ceremonies that are tied to relations of reciprocal care."This Sept. 22 UC Berkeley event was sponsored by the Joseph A. Myers Center for Research on Native American Issues, part of the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues. It was co-sponsored by the Native American Studies Program, Native American Student Development, the American Indian Graduate Program, the American Indian Graduate Student Association and the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management.Read a transcript and listen to the episode on Berkeley News.Music by Blue Dot Sessions.Photo courtesy of Clint Carroll.

Activist Pua Case on the movement to protect Mauna Kea

Ep. 150
Pua Case, a Native Hawaiian activist and caretaker from the Flores-Case ʻOhana family, discusses the movement to protect Mauna Kea, a dormant volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii and the tallest mountain in the world."We have been standing successfully for 12 years against the building of a huge telescope," Case said at a Berkeley Center of New Media event on Aug. 29, 2022. "Not because it's a telescope, but because it's an 18-story building of any kind that would be built on the northern plateau in a pristine landscape on a sacred mountain, and for so many reasons."For 12 years, we have remained visible, we have remained committed, we have remained engaged and fully activated. But it is as if on a daily basis we have never stood because they are determined to build. And so, any of you who are facing what we're facing today, when a corporation, an institution, a developer, whatever the case may be — for us, five countries are determined to build no matter the consequence — it is almost as if you have to re-establish every day that you are here."This talk was presented as part of the Art, Technology and Culture Colloquium, the History and Theory of New Media Lecture Series, and the Indigenous Technologies Initiative. It was co-sponsored by the American Indian Graduate Program, the Arts Research Center, the Department of Ethnic Studies, Media Studies, the Center for Race and Gender, and Native American Studies.Read a transcript and listen to the episode on Berkeley News.Music by Blue Dot Sessions.Photo by Matt Biddulph via Flickr.