GENNY LIM is a second generation Chinese American born and raised in San Francisco. She has served as a former San Francisco Arts Commissioner and SFJAZZ Poet Laureate.


Genny Lim is author of five poetry collections, Winter Place, Child of War, Paper Gods and Rebels, KRA!, La Morte Del Tempo, and an anthology of Senior Asian American memoirs, Window: Glimpses of Our Storied Past.

She is co-author of the groundbreaking book, Island: Poetry and History of Chinese Immigrants on Angel Island, winner of the American Book Award.


Genny’s award-winning play, Paper Angels, set at the Angel Island immigration barracks, was the first Asian American play to air on PBS’s American Playhouse in 1985 and was produced throughout the U.S., Canada and China.


Lim has collaborated with jazz legends Max Roach and Herbie Lewis and Bay Area musicians, Marcus Shelby, John Santos, Francis Wong, Jon Jang, Anthony Brown and the Asian American Orchestra and Del Sol String Quartet.

She has also collaborated with Gen Taiko, Lenora Lee Dance on librettos for Within These Walls and Dreams of Flight at the Chinese Immigration Detention Station on Angel Island.


As a former San Francisco Arts Commissioner under Art Agnos and Frank Jordan, she helped  establish the Cultural Equity Arts program and Writers Corps under the auspices of the Arts Commission. She curated the Poetry-in-the Schools Program at the DeYoung Museum (1989-1993) and served on the faculty of New College of California (1987-2007), co-founding the Arts and Social Change Program. 

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