The Right to Write!

Instructor: Genny Lim
Ten one-and-a half hour sessions on Tuesdays, 9:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Oct. 3 – Dec. 5, 2023

What’s the difference between a writer and someone who doesn’t write? Everyone has a story inside. A writer is someone who gives her/himself permission to write. In this ten-week workshop, we will dare to dive into our own hidden, buried or obscured stories to better understand who we are, where we came from and where we’re headed in our path to self-understanding and awareness. We will give ourselves the patience, time and permission to access deep memory by exercising the imagination to recover, reclaim and re-imagine the lost and elusive narratives of our often wounded psyches to uncover the hidden truths that historical racism and generational trauma have had on our lives. The craft of writing frees the subconscious through a gradual process of deep reflection and honest self-examination when unconstrained by self-censorship and self-doubt. The workshop provides a nurturing and communal atmosphere conducive to mutual support, healing and collegiality which tempers the isolation frequently experienced in the solitary act of writing. Prompts are generated at the end of each session to activate fresh and unexpected ways to interrupt habitual patterns of thought that hinder intuition and imagination as well as the ability to discover one’s voice.


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 Window: Glimpses From Our Storied Past, published by the Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center.

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$100-250 sliding scale
Need-based scholarships available

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