Celebrated Asian American poets and an innovative chamber music group join forces for one night to celebrate the legacy of Bernice Bing.
ABOUT THE PERFORMERS
The Last Hoisan Poets — Genny Lim, Nellie Wong, and Flo Oy Wong — trace their roots to China’s Toisan villages, home of the Hoisan-wa (aka Toisanese/Taishanese) Chinese dialect. They hold poetry readings in English and Hoisan-wa, paying homage to an ancestral language which is at risk of fading from collective memory.
Genny Lim is the recipient of two lifetime achievement literary awards from PEN Oakland and the city of Berkeley. She has also served as San Francisco Jazz Poet Laureate and former SF Arts Commissioner. Lim’s award-winning play, “Paper Angels” the first Asian American play to air on PBS’s American Playhouse in 1985, has been performed throughout the U.S., Canada, and China. She is the author of five poetry collections, and co-author of “Island: Poetry and History of Chinese Immigrants on Angel Island,” winner of the American Book Award in 1980.
Flo Oy Wong is an artist, poet, and educator who honors family and community in her art and writing. Born and raised in Oakland Chinatown, she is a co-founder of the Asian American Women Artists Association and a recipient of three National Endowment for the Arts awards. Wong started her poetry career at the age of 75; on the occasion of her 80th birthday, she published her first book of art and poetry, “Dreaming of Glistening Pomelos.”
Nellie Wong has published four books: “Dreams in Harrison Railroad Park,” “The Death of Long Steam Lady,” “Stolen Moments” and “Breakfast Lunch Dinner.” Her poems and essays appear in numerous journals and anthologies, including excerpts from two poems which have been permanently installed at public sites at the San Francisco Municipal Railway and a building named after her at Oakland High School. Wong has taught at Mills College and the University of Minnesota. She is the recipient of the 2022 PEN Oakland/Reginald Lockett Lifetime Achievement Award.
Del Sol Quartet is a leading force in 21st-century chamber music. They believe that live music can, and should, happen anywhere — whether introducing Ben Johnston’s microtonal Americana at the Library of Congress, taking Aeryn Santillan’s gun–violence memorial to the streets of the Mission District, or collaborating with Huang Ruo and the anonymous Chinese poets who carved their words into the walls of the Angel Island Immigration Station. Since 1992, the quartet has commissioned and premiered thousands of new works.
Thursday Nights are supported by Wells Fargo.