Memory, Meaning and Memoir
ABOUT THE WORKSHOPS
Language is not an instrument for exploring the past, but rather a medium.
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.
ABOUT GENNY LIM
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.