SAN FRANCISCO— “Memory, Meaning and Memoir” will be presented by the Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center as part of the 24th annual United States of Asian America Festival on Sunday, May 16, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Pacific.

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 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.

List of readers:

Leila Beltran

Sharleen Boummer

Vickie Ya Rong Chang

Carole Chinn Morales

Susan Hayase

Susan Kitazawa

Mei Lam

Mirah Lucas

Grace Morizawa

Shizue Shikuma

Leon Sun

Casimiro Tolentino

Leslie Yee-Murata

Genny Lim is San Francisco jazz poet laureate emeritus. Her award-winning play “Paper Angels” was the first Asian American play aired on PBS’ “American Playhouse” in 1985 and has been produced throughout the U.S., Canada and China. She is author of five poetry collections, “Winter Place,” “Child of War,” “Paper Gods and Rebels,” “KRA!” and “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 an anthology of senior Asian American memoirs, “Window: Glimpses of Our Storied Past.”

She has worked with past jazz legends, such as Max Roach, Herbie Lewis and Eddie Marshall, and long-time collaborators Jon Jang, John Santos, Francis Wong and Del Sol String Quartet.

This year’s United States of Asian American Festival (USAAF) presents over 20 different programs reflecting the artistic accomplishments and cultural diversity of San Francisco’s Pacific Islander and Asian American communities. USAAF showcases artists representing a diverse range of ethnic and cultural groups and aims to heighten the visibility of Asian and Pacific Islander (API) artists working in all disciplines — theater, music, dance, film, literature, visual arts, and more. The goal is to nurture and empower these groups to be self-sufficient while providing the support they need to grow.

This year’s theme, “Forging Our Futures — SoMa & Chinatown,” explores how we are fostering recovery, resilience and regeneration in our communities, what place-making and community building looks like, past, present and future and how we’re imagining and manifesting empowered future for ourselves and our communities.

USAAF 2021 is funded by the San Francisco Arts Commission, San Francisco Grants for the Arts, California Arts Council, Fleishhacker Foundation, Zellerbach Family Foundation, startsmall and National Endowment for the Arts.

Registration to this event is free and open to the public. Automatic live captioning will be available via Zoom. Register on Eventbrite.

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