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Janice Mirikitani

1941–2021

Janice Mirikitani was born on February 4, 1941 in Stockton, California. 

The author of five books, including Love Works (City Lights Press, 2003), Mirikitani served as the second Poet Laureate of San Francisco in 2000, succeeding Lawrence Ferlinghetti. “For me,” Mirikitani said, “the role of poet is as a voice to connect with the community.”

A survivor of Japanese American incarceration during World War II, she founded San Francisco's Glide Memorial Church center for social justice with her husband, the Rev. Cecil Williams.

About Mirikitani’s work, Ken Chen noted, “She wrote a multicultural movement poetry that has been forgotten, too unaesthetic for formalists, too radical to be reduced to identity/confessionalism.”

She died on July 29, 2021 in San Francisco, CA.

Janice Mirikitani
Photo credit: Nancy Wong
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