About Genny Lim

Genny Lim is a second generation Chinese American born and raised in San Francisco. 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.

Lim served as the San Francisco Jazz Poet Laureate from 2016-2018. Her award-winning play Paper Angels has been produced throughout the U.S., in Canada and China. Lim is author of five poetry collections, Winter Place, Child of War, Paper Gods and Rebels, KRA!, La Morte Del Tempo, co-author of Island: Poetry and History of Chinese Immigrants on Angel Island, winner of the American Book Award and editor of two Senior Asian American anthologies, From Both Shores and Window: Glimpses of our Storied Past. She has toured as a featured poet at International Poetry festivals in Bosnia-Hercegovina, Italy, Venezuela and the U.S.

Lim was awarded the Reginald Lockett Lifetime Achievement Award from PEN OAKLAND in 2021 and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the City of Berkeley at the Berkeley Poetry Festival in 2022. 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, Del Sol String Quartet and The Last Hoisan Poets. 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.

She currently teaches the Senior Asian American Writers Class at the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California in San Francisco and an online workshop, Memory, Meaning and Memoir through Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center (APICC).

Download Genny Lim resume HERE.

Genny Lim, Jack Hirschman, Amiri Baraka, backstage at Yoshi's San Francisco. 2012.
Genny Lim, Jack Hirschman, Amiri Baraka, backstage at Yoshi’s San Francisco. 2012.
Poet Genny Lim is at the microphone in this black and white photograph taken by Bob Hsiang.
Genny Lim by Bob Hsiang. 2014.
The Last Hoisan Poets - Nellie Wong, Flo Oy Wong and Genny Lim - join Charlton Lee, founder of the Del Sol Quartet, for a post-performance selfie after “Angel Island Insight,” a Zoom program for the United States of Asian America Festival 2021.
USAAF 2021: Angel Island Insight with The Last Hoisan Poets and Del Sol Quartet
Under a breezy blue sky, poet Genny Lim pauses for a moment under the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge.
Genny Lim, photo by Leon Sun
Jon Jang and Genny Lim: A Chinaman’s Chance, A Choy’s Chance. 2019
Jon Jang and Genny Lim: A Chinaman’s Chance, A Choy’s Chance. 2019
On stage, in front of panels lit in blue and reds, SFJAZZ Poet Laureate Genny Lim, Destiny Muhammad and trombonist Jasim Perales roar with laughter, as the musicians and poets perform together for “Poetry Matters,” the closing performance of SFJAZZ Poetry Festival 2017.
Poetry Matters: SFJAZZ Poetry Festival 2017
Genny Lim, Vince Gotera, Eddie Gale, Yusef Komunyakaa. San Jose Center for the Literary Arts, 1995.
Genny Lim, Vince Gotera, Eddie Gale, Yusef Komunyakaa. San Jose Center for the Literary Arts, 1995.
In this sepia toned photo, Chinese American poet Genny Lim stands close to the microphone, gesturing with both hands raised, as she performs in Jon Jang’s “SenseUs!” for Festival 2000, October 1990.
Genny Lim performs in Jon Jang’s “SenseUs!” for Festival 2000, October 1990.
Web Gallery
Poetry Plaque on Brannan Street Light Rail Muni platform
Poetry Plaque on Brannan Street Light Rail Muni platform
Genny Lim, SF Jazz Poet Laureate performs Max Roach's Freedom Now Suite at SF Jazz (2017)
Genny Lim, SF Jazz Poet Laureate performs Max Roach's Freedom Now Suite at SF Jazz (2017)
Fan Set at the Asian Heritage Street Celebration Festival 2005
Fan Set at the Asian Heritage Street Celebration Festival 2005
Outdoors, on the wooden deck, surrounded by immense green trees, poet Genny Lim is speaking at the microphone, as bassist Marcus Shelby looks on, during Healdsburg Jazz Festival 2021's celebration of poet Maya Angelou.
Healdsburg Jazz 2021: A Celebration of Maya Angelou