Music Performance Poetry

Ode B’kongofon
Hafez Modirzadeh Ensemble

Thursday, May 12 – 7:30pm

Bird & Beckett Books & Records

653 Chenery Street, San Francisco, CA 94131

Genny Lim. Photo: Bob Hsiang, 2016.

With B’kongofonic blood at the saxophonic root, well below surface engraving, resonating within its alloy, sounds are gathering to invoke a heroic people: kongo as “gathering”, a Central African people’s homeland; fon as “sound”, a West African people’s language; B’ referring to all “peoples” along the resistance continuum.  Hear ye, the animating force of a strange horn sanctified!

Genny Lim – poetry, invocation
Hafez Modirzadeh – kongofon, assorted winds
Francis Wong – kongofon, assorted winds
John-Carlos Perea – electric bass, cedar flute, vocals
Keshav Batish – drums, tabla

Genny Lim and the ensemble perform Modirzadeh’s epic poem, Ode B’kongofon. 

$25 cash cover charge; byob and a mask (optional if vaccinated)


Purple Gums: The Zen of Glenn:  Glenn Horiuchi Birthday Retrospective

Bobby Bradford, Francis Wong & William Roper with poet Genny Lim celebrate “The Zen of Glenn.”

Three master musicians and an esteemed poet join together in honor of their late colleague and friend Glenn Horiuchi, born February 27, 1955. Horiuchi, who passed on June 3, 2000, was a key figure in the Asian American arts movements & companies that flowered in the San Francisco Bay Area and up and down the West Coast in the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s.

Find the live stream on Bird & Beckett’s YouTube channel or Facebook page, and donate if you possibly can to support the musicians, the music and the venue!

Saxophonist Francis Wong, co-founder and creative director of Asian Improv aRts (AIR), notes that Horiuchi

“was a prime mover for Asian Improv aRts from our pre-history in the Asian American Movement until his transition. A role model and mentor for me and so many others, he played such roles as a musician, teacher, community organizer — most notably the redress movement but also in the El Salvador support movement, and of course Jesse Jackson for President — and Zen Buddhist practitioner, all the while being a devoted family man. He continues to inspire us with his life example, artistic work, and abiding spirit.”



Please join us next Thursday, Feb. 17 at 5pm for a live poetry reading and music performance with special guests: Genny Lim, Clara Hsu, and David Wong.

The event will take place in the gallery located on the second floor of the Minnesota Street Project

Xiaoze Xie’s “Panorama of Eternal Night”

On view through Feb. 26

with a special poetry reading/music performance happening Thur. Feb. 17th in the gallery at 5pm!

“Looking for art-historical references, Xie has found some of the most powerful expressions of humanity in religious art, and discovered parallels and formal affinities between art of the East and West. He is particularly inspired by the complexity, intensity and drama in the portrayal of human suffering in Dante’s Divine Comedy, which he read over Zoom to his son Victor who was stranded at university during lockdown. He brings the same pathos and gravitas from Dante’s epic narrative to his subject matter through collage combining history and the present, the real with the imaginary.”

1275 Minnesota Street, San Francisco, California 94107 [map]

Genny Lim was San Francisco Jazz Poet Laureate (2016-2018) and a recipient of the PEN Oakland Reginald Lockett and Berkeley Poetry Festival Lifetime Achievement Awards. Her award-winning play Paper Angels has been produced throughout the U.S., in Canada and China. 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. Lim has collaborated with numerous jazz musicians such as Max Roach, Jon Jang, Francis Wong and Del Sol String Quartet.

Clara Hsu is a Chinese American immigrant from Hong Kong. She is a mother, piano teacher, traveler, actor, translator, poet, playwright, a BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc.) artist and a recipient of the Jefferson Award for public service in 2021. Clara’s children’s play, The Piano, a Play-Movie was selected to screen at the 2021 International Children’s Film Festival Seattle. Gai Mou Sou Rap is Clara’s best known work. Written in 2021 during the height of hate crimes against Asians, the rap has received over a quarter of a million views on the internet and the Palm Beach International Music Award

David Wong, Executive Director of Tranquil Resonance Studio, brings his passion for the ancient traditions of China to every note he plays on both guqin and guzheng and every cup of tea he brews. Studying music, arts, and pursuing his graduate studies with masters both here and abroad in China, he actively teaches, lectures, and performs around the San Francisco bay area, always enthusiastic to share all that he has learned and showcase the deep-rooted traditions and music of China.

Writing Workshop

Memory, Meaning and Memoir 2022

January 29, 2022 at 5:00pm – 7pm PST, via Zoom

Registration is FREE and available on Eventbrite.

A presentation of readings by a diverse, intergenerational, cross-section of writers, who include visual artists, educators, activists and professionals from the AAPI community, who will share their stories and poems, ranging from immigration stories and family memoir to gender and racial oppression, anti-Asian hate and police violence, written during the course of a writing workshop conducted by poet-playwright, Genny Lim. The online APICC workshops have met every week, throughout the pandemic. These memoir pieces were written in response to weekly writing prompts provided by Genny Lim. All levels and ages, from emerging to advanced writers, were welcomed and encouraged to explore and develop their individual voices and craft in a safe and communal atmosphere that allowed for constructive critique, dialogue, mutual support and growth.


Vickie Chang
Andres Tangalin 
madhvi trivedi-pathak
Susan Hayase
Susan Kitazawa 
Grace Morizawa
Noah Kawaguchi
Leon Sun

Leslie Yee/Murata
Carole Chinn-Morales
Lynn Huang
Lisa Chiu
Yenkuei Chuang
Sharleen Boumer Ignacio
Mei Lam
Don Tow

For more, visit the Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center website.


Berkeley Poetry Festival 2022

Genny Lim receives the Berkeley Poetry Festival’s 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award. 

Poster design by Kara Yoon Frame

Poetry & Dance with dNaga Dance Company

Join the Live-streamed Festival via Zoom or on the Bay Area Poetry Festival Facebook page on Saturday, January 22, from 3:00pm-4:00pm, for poetry and dance with dNaga Dance Company, featuring recorded poetry readings by Genny.

Saturday, January 22, 3:00–4:00pm • Facebook Live

With special thanks to Claudine Naganuma, Artistic Director of dNaga Dance Company — a unique ensemble made up of multi-generational dancers including young artists, professionals, and elders. Through workshops, classes, choreography and productions, the dance company explores the nature of our human condition and its relationship to our greater community.

The Remembered, dNaga Dance Co. Lifetime Achievement Awardee Genny Lim recites her poem “The Remembered” January, 2022. Berkeley Poetry Festival.
Dance for PD® Oakland Performs “Prayer for Jasper” Poem. Lifetime Achievement Awardee Genny Lim recites her poem “Prayer for Jasper” January, 2022. Berkeley Poetry Festival. For more, visit
This is My Country, dNaga Dance Co. Lifetime Achievement Awardee Genny Lim recites her poem “This is My Country” January, 2022. Berkeley Poetry Festival.
Myths, dNaga Dance Co. Lifetime Achievement Awardee Genny Lim recites her poem “Myths” January, 2022. Berkeley Poetry Festival.

Lifetime Achievement Award and Reading

On Sunday, January 23, from 3:00pm-4:00pm, enjoy readings by poets Maw Shein Win and Minal Hajratwala, and the presentation of the Lifetime Achievement Award to Genny by City of Berkeley Councilperson Terry Taplin.

Sunday, January 23, 3:00–4:00pm • Facebook Live

Messages from Francis Wong, Jon Jang, Elena Serrano and Nancy Hom

The Berkeley Poetry Festival is funded by the City of Berkeley Civic Arts Commission and Poets & Writers

In Honor of Genny Lim: City of Berkeley Proclamation, January 23, 2022
In Honor of Genny Lim: City of Berkeley Proclamation, January 23, 2022

PEN Oakland Awards

Genny Lim receives the Reginald Lockett Lifetime Achievement Award

Join the 32nd Annual PEN Oakland-Josephine Miles Literary Awards. The PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Awards, named for the late poet and professor at the University of California at Berkeley, were created to provide recognition for outstanding literary achievement from the entire spectrum of America’s diverse literary community. In addition, there is an Adelle Foley Award, a Reginald Lockett Lifetime Achievement Award, a Gary Webb Anti-Censorship award, and a Reginald Martin Award for Excellence in Criticism.

The 2021 PEN Oakland Award winners will be formally recognized on Saturday, December 4, from 2:00-5:00 P.M. PST. This will be a free virtual event, which will be broadcast live on Facebook on the Oakland Public Library Facebook page.

The 2021 PEN Oakland Award Recipients Are:

Josephine Miles Award

Joy Harjo, Leanne Howe, Jennifer Elise Foerster and Contributing Editors, When the Light of the World Was Subdued, Our Songs Came Through, A Norton Anthology of Native Nations Poetry (Norton, W.W. & Company, Inc.)

Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai, The Mountains Sing (Algonquin Press)

Derf Backderf, Kent State: Four Dead in Ohio (Abrams Books)

Christopher Bernard, The Socialist’s Garden of Verses (Regent Press)

Daphne Brooks, Liner Notes for the Revolution: The Intellectual Life of Black Feminist Sound (Belknap Press)

Nikki Giovanni, Make Me Rain poems & prose (William Morrow)

Terry McMillan, It’s Not All Downhill From Here: A Novel (Ballantine Books)

Adelle Foley Award

Margaret Porter Troupe

Gavin Newsom

First Annual Reginald Martin Award for Excellence in Criticism

Jerry Ward

Gary Webb Anti-Censorship Award

Roxane Gay

Reginald Lockett Lifetime Achievement Award

Genny Lim


El Tecolote

Poetry Tribute, dedicated to Victor Martínez, Francisco X Alarcón, & Alfonso Texidor, in honor of El Tecolote’s 50th anniversary.

Saturday, September 18, 2021, 7pm • Facebook Live @ El Tecolote and @Acción Latina


Wall + Response

The Arab Liberation Mural / Will To Live: Youssef Alaoui, Jason Bayani, Genny Lim & Michael Warr

The Arab Liberation Mural / Will To Live (2018) by Art Forces, Arab Resource Organizing Center (AROC), and Arab Youth Organizing (AYO)

Friday, June 25, 2021 at 7 pm, on Facebook

A four-event series presented by Clarion Alley Mural Project (CAMP) called Wall + Response, featuring sixteen Bay Area poets responding to the social/ political/ racial/ justice narratives of four murals on Clarion Alley. Curated by CAMP artist and organizer Megan Wilson (wall) and poet Maw Shein Win (response), the fourth and final event in the series featured Youssef Alaoui, Jason Bayani, Genny Lim and Michael Warr responding to the mural The Will To Live (2018) by Art Forces, Arab Resource Organizing Center (AROC), and Arab Youth Organizing (AYO).

Wall + Response was originally conceived to culminate in four quarterly public events to be presented on Clarion Alley. However, due to the pandemic the poets were filmed by videographer Mahima Kotian reading their work in front of the murals on Clarion Alley.

Wall + Response is made possible by the generous support of the San Francisco Art Commission and the Zellerbach Family Foundation.


“Angel Island Insight”

Del Sol Performing Arts Organization’s “Angel Island Insight” explores the history of the Angel Island Immigration Station by offering a suite of virtual and in-person programs that examines the musicality of the disappearing Hoisan-wa dialect by The Last Hoisan Poets and The Del Sol Quartet.

United States of Asian America Festival 2021: Angel Island Insight with The Last Hoisan Poets & Del Sol Quartet

Zoom performance on Saturday, May 22, 2021, 2pm-3:30pm, presented by the Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center’s “United States of Asian America Festival” (2021: Forging our Future – SoMa & Chinatown)

Three descendants of Angel Island immigrants, the Last Hoisan Poets – Genny Lim, Nellie Wong and Flo Oy Wong – use poetry to speak their individual truths and creatively reclaim the Hoisan-wa language and culture. The program weaves together their poetry with performances by the Del Sol Quartet, music by Asian-American composers Kui Dong, Theresa Wong, Jungyoon Wie, Huang Ruo, and a collaborative composition. Q&A moderated by Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation’s executive director Edward Tepporn.

This project was made possible with support from California Humanities, a non-profit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. This project was also funded in part by a grant from Grants for the Arts.

SF Wednesdays: The Last Hoisan Poets & Del Sol Quartet in Union Square

Wednesday, October 6, 2021, 12-2pm. Free to the public — 2 sets at 12pm & 1pm, with pop-up exhibits by the Chinese Historical Society of America on the history of Angel Island and the Chinese in the Sunset.

World Premiere: Huang Ruo’s ANGEL ISLAND: Oratorio for Voices and Strings

The world premiere of Huang Ruo’s ANGEL ISLAND: Oratorio for Voices and Strings, featuring Del Sol Quartet and Volti with poetry readings by The Last Hoisan Poets, was performed on Friday, October 22, 8pm at the Presidio Theatre and on Saturday, October 23 in the Angel Island Immigration Station barracks on Angel Island, with performances at 11:30am and 1:30pm.


Healdsburg Jazz: A Celebration of Maya Angelou

Healdsburg Jazz’s A Celebration of Maya Angelou, a live outdoors and distanced event, was held on Saturday, April 3, 2021, with Poet Laureate Enid Pickett, and poets Genny Lim and Michael Warr, accompanied by Marcus Shelby (bass) and Rob Sudduth (saxophones).