Program Welcome & Introductions – JING JING YANG, Cupertino Poet Laureate

An Introduction to Hoisan-WaGENEVIEVE LEUNG, Associate Professor, USF

A HOISAN-WA “TALK STORY”

NELLIE WONG

My Two Hearts

Two Tickets Please

Musical Interlude by DEL SOL STRING QUARTET

“a popular tune” by Jungyoon Wie

GENNY LIM

Immigrants

The Only Language She Knows

End of an Era

Musical Interlude by DEL SOL STRING QUARTET

an excerpt from Huang Ruo’s “a dust in time.”

FLO OY WONG

Loy Coy, Come Here

Ai Joong Wah, Great China


THE LAST HOISAN POETS

Oakland Chinatown-born, NELLIE WONG has published four books: Dreams in Harrison Railroad Park, The Death of Long Steam Lady, Stolen Moments and Breakfast Lunch Dinner.  Her poems and essays appear in numerous journals and anthologies.  Two pieces are installed at public sites in San Francisco. She’s co-featured in the documentary film, “Mitsuye and Nellie Asian American Poets,” and among her recognitions, a building at Oakland High School is named after her.  A poem of hers was nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She’s traveled to China in the First American Women Writers Tour with Alice Walker, Tillie Olsen and Paule Marshall, among others.  She’s taught poetry writing at Mills College and in Women Studies at the University of Minnesota.

GENNY LIM is San Francisco Jazz Poet Laureate emeritus, born and raised in San Francisco to immigrant parents from the Kwantung region of Toisan, where an oral culture rich with folklore, natural medicine and healing songs was brought to America. The rhythms and music of the Toisan (Hoisan) language, find harmony of expression in the freedom of contemporary jazz and it is there, where Lim’s voice has flourished. She is author of five poetry collections, Winter Place, Child of War, Paper Gods and Rebels, KRA!, La Morte Del Tempo, and co-author of Island: Poetry and History of Chinese Immigrants on Angel Island, winner of the American Book Award and the forthcoming anthology of Senior Asian American memoirs, Window: Glimpses of Our Storied Past. Lim’s award-winning play, Paper Angels, was the first Asian American play that aired on PBS’s American Playhouse in 1985 and has been produced throughout the U.S., Canada and China. 

At the age of 9, artist/poet/educator FLO OY WONG, a De Anza College alumni, knew that she loved words. A few years later, say 79 years, she has become a poet who uses English and her parents’ native Chinese dialect to show and to tell her collected stories of family and community.  A co-founder of the Asian American Women Artists Association, she has received three National Endowment for the Arts awards. In 2018, Flo celebrated her 80th birthday with the publication of her art & poetry book, Dreaming of Glistening Pomelos. Through her art and poetry she supports those who use their individual and collective voices for social justice. She stands by individuals and organizations who put diversity, equity, and inclusion into practice. As an elder, she connects with younger people who inspire her.

DEL SOL STRING QUARTET

The San Francisco-based DEL SOL STRING QUARTET is a leading force in 21st century chamber music – whether introducing Ben Johnston’s microtonal Americana at the Library of Congress, taking Aeryn Santillan’s gun-violence memorial to the streets of the Mission District, exploring Andean soundscapes with Gabriela Lena Frank and traditional musicians, or collaborating with Huang Ruo and the anonymous poets who carved their words into the walls of the Angel Island Immigration Station during the years of the Chinese Exclusion Act. Our current lineup, featuring Del Sol founder and Artistic Director Charlton Lee on viola, cellist Kathryn Bates and violinists Ben Kreith and Sam Weiser, looks to bring a fresh energy, freedom, and precision to our diverse repertoire. By bringing the string quartet tradition from its European roots into global traditions, including an emphasis on the Asian continent, Del Sol makes contemporary chamber music a dynamic part of today’s culture. https://www.delsolquartet.com/

JING JING YANG, Cupertino Poet Laureate

JING JING YANG is Cupertino’s sixth Poet Laureate. Jing Jing grew up with a love for poetry, listening to her father recite  Chinese classic poetry from the Han, Tang and Song dynasties. Since moving to Cupertino in 2011, Jing Jing has been a part of the City’s poetry community and has enjoyed the programs of previous poet laureates as a creative outlet. Jing Jing aims to help Cupertino become a place where the West meets the East, the past meets the future and its poetic voice be heard around the globe. https://www.cupertino.org/residents/arts-and-culture/cupertino-poet-laureate

GENEVIEVE LEUNG, Associate Professor, University of San Francisco

Genevieve Leung is the academic director of the Asian Pacific Studies MA program and director of the Asian Pacific American Studies minor. She has a BA in linguistics from UC Berkeley and dual MA degrees in linguistics (TESOL) and education (Language and Literacy) from UC Davis. She received her PhD in Educational Linguistics from the University of Pennsylvania. She has taught high school English in Japan, as well as English writing, effective communication, and reading and vocabulary courses at Stanford University. She was the co-instructor of the TESOL Workshop at the University of Pennsylvania, training novice ESL teachers in the fundamentals of TESOL. Genevieve is also very interested in heritage language maintenance, particularly of Chinese Americans of Cantonese and Toisanese/Hoisan-wa language backgrounds. https://www.usfca.edu/faculty/genevieve-leung

PUBLICATIONS

  • Him Mark Lai; Genny Lim; Judy Yung, eds. Island: Poetry and History of Chinese Immigrants on Angel Island. University of Washington Press. June 1999. ISBN 978-0-295-97109-4.
  • Lim, Genny. Winter Place. Kearney St Workshop Press. ISBN 978-0-9609630-4-1.
  • Lim, Genny. Child of War. University of Hawaii Press. January 2003. ISBN 978-0-9709597-3-7.
  • Wong, Flo Oy. Dreaming of Glistening Pomelos. Ling Oy Press. September 2018. ISBN 9781732619807
  • Wong, Nellie. Breakfast Lunch Dinner: Poems. Meridien Press Works, 2012.
  • Wong, Nellie; Merle Woo; Mitsuye Yamada (2003). Three Asian American Writers Speak Out on Feminism. Seattle, Washington: Red Letter Press. ISBN 0-9725403-5-0.
  • Wong, Nellie (editor) (1999). Yolanda Alaniz (co-editor) (ed.). Voices of Color: Reports from the Front Lines of Resistance by Radicals of Color. Seattle, Washington: Red Letter Press. ISBN 0-932323-05-7.
  • Wong, Nellie (1997). Stolen Moments. Goshen, Connecticut: Chicory Blue Press. ISBN 1887344039.
  • Wong, Nellie (1986). The Death of Long Steam Lady. Los Angeles, California: West End Press. ISBN 0-931122-42-2.
  • Wong, Nellie (1977). Dreams in Harrison Railroad Park: Poems. Berkeley, California: Kelsey St. Press. ISBN 0-932716-14-8.

ONLINE RESOURCES

Voices of Resilience: An online exhibition celebrating the Angel Island Immigration Station’s historic poetry and poems submitted by the public; Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation (2020) https://www.aiisf.org/voicesofresilience

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