Casimiro U Tolentino

  • Memory, Meaning and Memoir


    Language is not an instrument for exploring the past, but rather a medium.
    -Walter Benjamin

    The purpose of art is to discover something new in the midst of everyday life. Art creates a space for our human sensibilities to open up and it is the task of the writer to maintain a sense of surprise at what he or she learns in the process of writing. Writing is ritual. It’s the process of summoning up the courage to uncover the elusive truths in our stories, which like stars, are always there, but which often remain hidden, obscured or forgotten, until the spark of our imagination and memory illuminate them. The craft is to clear away the smoke and fog of distracted thinking in order to allow our stories to emerge and speak to us and through us. It is through the archaeology of self-discovery and the moral honesty, clarity and objectivity of our voices that we come to know the past in light of the present. That is the transformative and healing power of writing.

    Facilitated by Genny Lim, these weekly workshops provide a communal and open space for the mutual sharing, encouragement and support of our workshop participants’ stories and poems with respect and discretion for confidentiality. Weekly writing prompts and exercises will be given to initiate the writing process and to keep the creative juices flowing. All levels are allowed. The main requirement is that you be open to the organic approach and nature of the class, given the technical limitations of online classes.


    Photo by Leon Sun.

    Genny Lim is San Francisco Jazz Poet Laureate emeritus. Her most poetry-music collaboration, Don't Shoot! A Requiem in Black, dedicated to Black Lives Matter premiered at SF Jazz Center in April 2018 with musicians Marshall Trammell, Francis Wong, and rap artist, Equipto. Lim has collaborated with such jazz legends as Max Roach, Herbie Lewis, Olatunji, Eddie Marshall and Bay Area musicians, Broun Fellinis, John Santos, Anthony Brown and the Asian American Orchestra, Francis Wong and Jon Jang. She has appeared at U.S. jazz festivals in the U.S. and toured Venezuela, Italy and Bosnia as a visiting international poet and performer.

    Lim's award-winning play Paper Angels, was the first Asian American play aired on PBS’s American Playhouse in 1985 and has been produced throughout the U.S. and 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 (Lai, Lim, Yung), which won the American Book Award. In 1990, U.C. Santa Cruz dedicated Oakes Hall to be renamed (Maxine)Hong-Lim Hall for Cultural Contributions to the Asian American Community. As SF Arts Commissioner from 1991-1995, Lim helped establish Writers Corps and Grants for the Arts under the auspices of SFAC. She is a current board member of Before Columbus Foundation, which presents the annual American Book Awards.

    She has taught writing and performance classes for over forty years from SF State University, UC Berkeley, University of Creation Spirituality and New College of California to Japanese Community and Cultural Center of Northern California, where she has taught the Seniors Asian American Writing classes for over ten years, producing two class anthologies, From Both Shores and the upcoming, Window: Glimpses From Our Storied Past, soon to be released this fall with Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center.



  • Donate to APICC

    *Please note: If you would like to make a donation specifically towards an APICC fiscally-sponsored project such as Jon Jang, Unity Archive Project, East Wind ezineLenora Lee Dance or Trashed: The Lost World of May's Photo Studio, Oral Histories of the International Hotel Human Barricade, please donate through their specific pages here.

    Donate to Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center (APICC) to directly invest in cultural institutions that present and empower diverse voices in arts and culture. 

    Your tax-deductible contribution is a meaningful statement in our community's value and need for organizations like APICC that present premier Asian Pacific Islander works of art in the San Francisco-Bay Area. 

    If you have any questions about your donation, please contact us at [email protected].


  • East Wind ezine

    APICC is proud to be the fiscal sponsor of East Wind ezine. Donations to East Wind ezine can be made on this page through APICC as a 501©(3) non-profit organization.


    About East Wind ezine

    East Wind ezine is an online publication focused on political and cultural issues of Asian Pacific Americans. New articles/posts are added every month as they arrive to us.  All of the artists, writers, designers and videographers donate all or part of their time to create the content.  Our goal is to inform our readers about critical issues such as immigration, civil and human rights, and identity and culture as a step to increase Asian Pacific American participation in movements for social change.

    Many of the volunteers for East Wind ezine also worked on East Wind: Politics and Culture of Asians in the U.S., which was published twice a year from 1982 to 1989 by Getting Together Publications.  Although many of us are now in our retirement years, we continue to be active or have renewed our activism in the face of the rightwing and racist policies of the current administration.  Furthermore, we wish to build bridges with younger generations of activists to forge a stronger movement.

    If you are interested in submitting articles or artwork or have suggestions for topics we should cover, please write to East Wind ezine via the contact us page on the website.


    Eddie Wong, East Wind ezine Editor

    Eddie Wong is a longtime activist in the Asian Pacific American community.  He served as one of the editors of Roots: An Asian American Reader, the first Asian American studies college textbook, published in 1971 by the UCLA Asian American Studies Center.  He received his BA and MFA from UCLA School of Theater Arts/Film and was one of the co-founders of Visual Communications, the nation’s first non-profit Asian American media production company.  He later served as Executive Director of NAATA/Center for Asian American Media and Executive Director of the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation. 

    Visit the East Wind ezine here:


    Support East Wind ezine

    Please donate to East Wind ezine to help us defray the costs of building and maintaining our online publication.  We are currently unable to pay contributors, but we value their work.  Raising funds to support East Wind ezine will enable us to  pay honorariums to artists and writers for their work. 

    Please write checks to Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center with “East Wind ezine” in the memo line.  Please include a return mailing address or email address so that we can sent you an acknowledgement note.  Checks to APICC should be mailed to the address below:


    934 Brannan Street

    San Francisco, CA 94103


Administrative Law Judge--St. of CA. (Retired)