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).



Del Sol Quartet plays Rzewski, with poetry by Genny Lim

Saturday, February 20, 2021, 6:00pm – 8:00pm

The brilliant composer/pianist Frederic Rzewski joined Del Sol Quartet to present new online performances of Rzewski’s compositions. The program included Words for speaking string quartet and Winter Nights for solo piano, and between musical performances, distinguished San Francisco author Genny Lim contributed a reading of her poetry.

Del Sol Quartet founder Charlton Lee and Genny Lim join Wanda’s Picks Radio Show on February 19, 2021. Genny reads Word on the Street (for Breonna Taylor) with Del Sol Quartet’s recorded performance of Kerwin Young’s In the Amazon.


CAAMFest 2021: Legacy and Lineage Shorts

Legacy and Lineage is a series of short films profiling the unique journeys of 5 Asian American community artists –  Sammay Dizon, Genny Lim, Isabelle Thuy Pelaud, Sami See, Francis Wong – whose works consistently place community at the center. The films explore the reasons that drive these outstanding artists and legacies that may point to the direction of the future of Asian American artists in San Francisco. Produced by Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center.

Co-presented by Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center (APICC) and the Center for Asian American Media, the series premiered on demand for CAAMFest, May 13-23, 2021.

Legacy & Lineage: Genny Lim

Released Friday, June 19, 2020

DESCRIPTION: “When you have that power, that ability other people don’t have, it’s how you use your authority and your power that counts. It’s not that you have it. It’s what you do with it.” From broadcast journalism to creative writing, Genny discusses the power of poetry and art to speak truth and transform systems.

About the filmmakers: Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center’s (APICC) mission is to support and present multidisciplinary art reflective of the unique experiences of Asians and Pacific Islanders living in the United States. APICC was founded in 1996 by representatives of five nonprofit arts groups: Asian American Dance Performances, First Voice, Asian Improv aRts, the Asian American Theater Company, and Kearny Street Workshop. Since 1998, the center has promoted the artistic and organizational growth of San Francisco’s API arts community by organizing and presenting the annual United States of Asian America Festival (now in its 24th year) as well as commissioning contemporary art for and by the Asian American and Pacific Islander community.


Laura Priscilla Paule, Director

Willis Lai, Cinematographer & Editor

Diana Chen, Video Assistant & Editor

Co-Presenters: Asian Pacific Islander Cultural CenterBAVC


We All Come from Water

First Voice: Offerings to Mother Earth

Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, First Voice proudly presented a series of artist videos, all made during shelter in place, from the First Voice family of artists and healers. With these offerings, we radiate healing energy, and resonate in new and ancient ways with Mother Earth, so we can remember how to love and care for Her and one another.

“I’ve known Brenda and Mark for 35 years. We’ve collaborating on many projects over the years from my 1987 performance piece, XX, about the oppression of women, which featured Brenda in the lead to my many poetry and music collaborations with Mark Izu in the early period of Asian American Jazz in the seventies till now. It gives me great pleasure to culminate our decades-old friendship as artists-in-arms to be a part of First Voice’s Offerings to the Earth.

My ode to water is a plea. If we continue to desecrate, pollute and waste this precious element, we will hasten the death of our planet for all living beings. Sea levels have risen to its highest annual level in just the past year and our coastlines are receding. At the same time, the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the catastrophic state of water justice. Twenty-one million Americans, that’s six percent of the population, get water from systems that violate health standards. The Navaho Nation has seen the highest rate of infections per capita in the U.S. and thirty to forty percent of its population have no running water or electricity. It’s time we reverse our course and heal our oceans, rivers and streams, starting with our melting glaciers.”

Music Performance Poetry

SFJAZZ Poetry Festival 2018 with Genny Lim

Thursday, April 5th – Sunday, April 8, 2018, Joe Henderson Lab

Curated by SFJAZZ Poet Laureate Genny Lim, the 2018 Wordology Festival featured “the greatest poets of the Bay Area and beyond, centered on the concept of ‘wordology.’”

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Genny Lim and Francis Wong at SFJazz Poetry Festival 2018
Genny Lim and Francis Wong at SFJazz Poetry Festival 2018

“I want poets to… let go of their concept of how the poem is supposed to be, to surrender to the spirit of improvisation, so the poem can breathe and become a whole new poem.”


This year’s festival is bookended by two illustrious poets: on opening night, former California poet laureate Al Young, whom Lim calls “the Duke Ellington of letters,” and who is the much-honored author of 22 books of various genres; and, playing piano at the closing matinee, Ishmael Reed (“just a lion—a political satirist, a playwright, an essayist,” says Lim).

In between is a multicultural and multigenerational lineup of poets, rappers, spoken-word artists and jazz musicians, many among them part of San Francisco’s underground arts scene, many of them social activists as well: Arlene Biala with musician Brittany Biala; Royal Kent with Copus Multimedia (his duo with composer/pianist Wendy Loomis); also Paul Flores, Tongo Eisen-Martin, QR Hand, novelist and hip-hop artist Aya De Leon, Tony Robles, rapper Equipto, the musical ensemble the Broun Fellinis, “drum strategist” Marshall Trammel and saxophonist Francis Wong. The festival includes a tribute to Charles Mingus and Native American sax player Jim Pepper.

Poetry and Jazz Make a Harmonic Hybrid by JEAN SCHIFFMAN,

SFJAZZ Poetry Festival 2017 with Genny Lim

Genny Lim with Anthony Brown & the Asian American Orchestra: “We Insist! Max Roach’s Freedom Now Suite”

Sunday, April 9, 8:00pm, Joe Henderson Lab

The SFJAZZ Poetry Festival 2017 was curated and hosted by Genny Lim, SFJAZZ Poet Laureate. The program on Sunday, April 9 featured poetry and music by poet devorah major, and then we became, with recording artist Destiny Muhammad, and “We Insist! Max Roach’s Freedom Now Suite,” with Genny Lim, composer and percussionist Anthony Brown and the Asian American Orchestra. The evening was co-presented by Litquake in the Joe Henderson Lab at SFJAZZ Center, 201 Franklin Street, San Francisco.

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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)
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On stage, in front of panels lit in blue and reds, SFJAZZ Poet Laureate Genny Lim, Amikaeyla Gaston and trombonist Jasim Perales roar with laughter, as they perform together for "Poetry Matters" the closing performance of SFJAZZ Poetry Festival 2017.
Genny Lim with Anthony Brown and The Asian American Orchestra – Freedom Now Suite

Hong-Lim Hall Mural

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The Hong-Lim House mural painted by the students depicts portraits of authors Maxine Hong-Kingston and Genny Lim connected by a dragon, on opposite ends of the Golden Gate Bridge. The Hong-Lim House mural painted by the students depicts portraits of authors Maxine Hong-Kingston and Genny Lim connected by a dragon, on opposite ends of the Golden Gate Bridge.

A Mural Consecration Ceremony was held on February 7, 2016 at UC Santa Cruz’s Hong-Kingston Hall, where students created a mural honoring Maxine Hong-Kingston and Genny Lim.

Genny recalled, “We both came to the event and met the wonderful students. Hong-Lim Hall was formerly Oakes Hall, the dorm where students of color reside. The students voted for whom to name the hall after, and Maxine and I garnered the most votes. It was a cool event, I brought my mom and daughter, and we got lost as I took a wrong turn and navigated the Santa Cruz mountains. My carburetor started smoking, so I had to stop in a garage for a temporary fix and limped home. My poor mom was praying the whole time!!”

Web Gallery
The Hong-Lim House mural painted by the students depicts portraits of authors Maxine Hong-Kingston and Genny Lim connected by a dragon, on opposite ends of the Golden Gate Bridge.
Hong-Lim House Mural at UC Santa Cruz

Hong-Lim House

Maxine Hong Kingston’s books are among the most widely read multicultural books in the national public school system. She was born in Stockton, California. Her parents came to the United States in the 1930s from a peasant village in China. As a child, she learned the millennia old Chinese legends, traditions and folk beliefs that helped her make sense of her own life. Her autobiographical novel, The Woman Warrior – Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts, and her book, China Men, won national awards.

Genny Lim is a native of San Francisco. The author of Paper Angels, a prize winning drama about Chinese immigrants detained on Angel Island, Lim also co-authored Island: Poetry and History of Chinese Immigrants on Angel Island: 1910 -1940. Lim has been honored with the American Book Award and the 1988 New Genre fellowship from the California Arts Council. She teaches theater and women’s literature at the New College of California in San Francisco, and conducts the Poets in the Galleries program at the Fine Arts Museums of the San Francisco Arts Commission. She was the graduation speaker at Oakes College in June of 1995.

Poetry Reading

Conversations at the Wartime Cafe: A Decade of War 2001-2011

Reading and signing. 30 writers marking the 10th year of the War on Terror.

Genny reads her poems, “Revoked,” “Resurrection from Egypt to Wall Street,” “Exile,” “37 Practices of a Bodhisattva,” “This is My Country,” “Life is a Riff” and “The People’s Prayer” at the DNA Lounge, 375 Eleventh Street, San Francisco.

Genny Lim’s reading – Conversations at the Wartime Cafe: a Decade of War 2001-2011

The book, Conversations at the Wartime Cafe: a Decade of War 2001-2011 is an anthology of poetry, fiction, memoir, journalism, and essays.

Conversations at the Wartime Cafe @ DNA Lounge

Thursday, November 3

6:30pm – midnight.

all ages.


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