Throughout the world, flowers are timeless symbols of love, of hope, of peace and of resistance. Join Nellie Wong and Julie Thi Underhill during one of our lunchtime poetry series in the Flower Power Lounge as they read works inspired by these timely themes.
Poet and activist Nellie Wong was born in Oakland, California. She is the daughter of Chinese immigrants, and in her poetry and through her community activism, she confronts social problems such as racism, sexism, and labor issues. Her collections of poetry include Dreams in Harrison Railroad Park (1977), The Death of Long Steam Lady (1986), Stolen Moments (1997), and Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner (2012). With Merle Woo and Mitsuye Yamada, Wong coauthored 3 Asian American Writers Speak Out on Feminism (2003). She is one of the founding members of the writing collective Unbound Feet, and her poems have been installed in public sites in the San Francisco area.
Wong is a member of various literary, artistic, and political groups, including Radical Women, the Freedom Socialist Party, and the National Asian American Telecommunications Association. In 1989, she received a Women of Words award from the San Francisco Women’s Foundation. With Yamada, she was the subject of the documentary Mitsuye & Nellie, Asian American Poets(1981). In 2011, a building at Oakland High School was named after Wong.
Julie Thi Underhill
Julie Thi Underhill is an interdisciplinary artist, scholar, and activist based in Berkeley whose creative work includes poetry, memoir essay, photography, film/video, performance, and painting. Her work often centers her mother’s people, the Chăm, as she investigates how historical memories of genocide, colonialism, and war continue to impact this little-known community indigenous to Việt Nam. As a delegate, Julie has spoken twice at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, on behalf of women's rights, religious freedom, and continued survival for the Chăm in Việt Nam, recently threatened by nuclear power plant construction near Việt Nam’s most concentrated Chăm population. In 2015, she co-directed the reGenerating Champa conference at UC Davis. She’s published in Troubling Borders: An Anthology of Art and Literature by Southeast Asian Women in the Diaspora; BOMB Magazine; positions: asia cultures critique; Nuclear Impact; Completely Mixed Up; TrenchArt Monographs: hurry up please its time; Veterans of War, Veterans of Peace; Embodying Asian/American Sexualities; Takin’ It to the Streets; ColorLines; and Hayden’s Ferry Review. Julie holds interdisciplinary degrees from The Evergreen State College (B.A., Liberal Arts) and UC Berkeley (M.A., Ethnic Studies). She lectures at California College of the Arts and San Francisco State University.
On September 20, join poets Rhodessa Jones, Bonnie Kwong and Tony Robles for the final reading in the series.
Free with Flower Power admission