Genny Lim and Nellie Wong
Genny Lim is the SFJAZZ poet laureate. She has performed in poetry and music collaborations with the late jazz legends Max Roach, Herbie Lewis and Fred Ho, and with Bay Area musicians John Santos, Francis Wong and Jon Jang. She has also been featured at World Poetry Festivals in Venezuela, Bosnia and Italy. Her award-winning play Paper Angels aired on PBS’ American Playhouse in 1985 and was reprised in 2010 at San Francisco Chinatown’s Portsmouth Square, receiving the San Francisco Fringe Festival’s Best Site-Specific Award. Lim’s performance piece with drummer Marshall Trammell, Don’t Shoot! A Requiem in Black, dedicated to Black Lives Matter, premiered at Safe House this last April to sold-out houses and will be performed at next year’s SF Jazz Poetry Festival at the SFJazz Center. Lim is author of four poetry collections: Winter Place, Child of War, Paper Gods and Rebels and KRA!, and she is co-author of the seminal Island: Poetry and History of Chinese Immigrants on Angel Island.
Nellie Wong is the author of four books of poetry: Dreams in Harrison Railroad Park, The Death of Long Steam Lady, Stolen Moments and Breakfast Lunch Dinner. Most recently she edited Talking Back: Voices of Color (Red Letter Press, 2015), a collection of essays and interviews advancing the views of a multiracial, intergenerational mix of 30 black, Latina/o, Indigenous, Asian Pacific American, Palestinian and LGBTQ community organizers. The first-born daughter of Chinese immigrants in Oakland, Wong is active with Radical Women and the Freedom Socialist Party and has worked as a secretary and administrative assistant and affirmative action analyst. She was a delegate to the San Francisco Labor Council for University Professional and Technical Employees. Wong has taught at Mills College and University of Minnesota. Wong has traveled with Alice Walker, Tillie Olsen, Paule Marshall and other delegates on the first U.S. Women Writers Tour to China, and has read throughout the U.S. and in Australia and Cuba. Her work has been translated into Spanish, Chinese, French and Italian. She’s featured with Mitsuye Yamada in the documentary film, Mitsuye and Nellie: Asian American Poets, by Allie Light and Irving Saraf.
Photo of Genny Lim by Leon Sun