CSULA Department of English | Burden Poetry Series

Daniel Borzutsky to Read in Jean Burden Poetry Series (Feb 23, 2017)

CSULA Mourns Jean Burden - 2008

This series, one of the longest running and most prestigious in the U.S., was established in 1986 by friends and supporters of Jean Burden to honor her achievements as a poet, essayist, editor, teacher and scholar. An Illinois native, University of Chicago alumna, and Altadena resident, Burden served as poetry editor of Yankee Magazine for 47 years, and published her poetry in prominent magazines including Poetry, Saturday Review, Prairie Schooner, Virginia Quarterly Review and American Scholar. She is the author of two poetry collections, Naked as the Glass (October House, 1963) and Taking Light from Each Other (University Press of Florida, 1992). Her poetry has been praised by figures such as James Dickey who called “[h]er voice unforced and lovely, saying the right un-heard-of-things with naturalness,” and Mary Oliver who described her poems as “silky, meditative, purposeful...filled with the deft cadences of reason.” Burden wrote six bestsellers on animal welfare, and an essay collection, Journey Toward Poetry (October House, 1966), lauded by May Sarton as “a key to a way of looking and a way of being.” The Jean Burden Series also honors and celebrates Jean Burden’s decades of commitment to sustaining poetry’s presence at Cal State L.A. 

This increasingly popular event features an annual reading by a major poet. Noted poets, Pulitzer Prize winners and Poets Laureate have been guest readers since the inception of this series at Cal State L.A., including Andrew Motion, Rita Dove, Anthony Hecht, Maxine Kumin, Mary Oliver, Harryette Mullen, Lucille Clifton, Galway Kinnell, Carolyn Kizer, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Richard Wilbur, Linda Pastan, and Mark Strand.


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Past Readers


Joy Harjo

Joy Harjo


Daniel Borzutsky

Daniel Borzutsky


Juan Felipe Herrera

Juan Felipe Herrera


Photo of Sonia Sanchez

Sonia Sanchez


Li-Young Lee


Photo of Wanda Coleman

Wanda Coleman


Photo of Rhina Espaillat

Rhina Espaillat


Photo of  Vikram Seth

Vikram Seth


Photo of Wendy Cope

Wendy Cope


Photo of Victor Hernandez Cruz

Victor Hernàndez Cruz


Portrait Photo of Adrienne Rich

Adrienne Rich


Photo of Andrew Motion

Andrew Motion


Photo of Rita Dove

Rita Dove


Photo of Linton Kwesi Johnson

Linton Kwesi Johnson

2004 Anthony Hecht (2004 press release)

2003 Harryette Mullen (2003 press release)

2002 Liz Rosenberg (2002 press release)

2001 David St. John (2001 press release)

2000 Galway Kinnell (2000 press release)

1999 Linda Pastan (1999 press release)

1998 Donald Hall (1998 press release)

1997 Jean Burden (1997 press release)

1996 Richard Wilbur

1995 Mary Oliver

1994 Diana O'Hehir

1993 Killarney Clary and Bruce Bond

1992 Carolyn Kizer

1991 Lucille Clifton

1990 Mark Strand

1989 Maxine Kumin

1988 Howard Nemerov

1987 Tess Gallagher

1986 Paul Zimmer