• Born 1941 in Stockton, California.
• 3rd Generation Japanese-American.
• Interned during WW II at a Japanese Internment Camp.
• BA Degree from UCLA
• Commitment to social activism (Was president of the Glide Foundation, a
charity organization in San Francisco, founder of Janice Mirikitani Family
Youth and Childcare Center)
• Married to Reverend Cecil Williams.
• Second Poet Laureate of San Francisco (after Lawrence Ferlinghetti)
• Concerned with ethnic identity, sexuality, social
justice, sexual abuse, and depression.
• “often searing and uncompromising” work (Epstein).
• "I found that my wounds begin to heal when the voices
of those endangered by silence are given power. The
silence of hopelessness, of despair buried in the depths
of poverty, violence, racism are more deadly than
bullets. The gift of light, in our compassion, our
listening, our works of love is the gift of life to
• Beyond the Possible (2013, with Rev. Cecil
• Love Works (2002)
• We, the Dangerous (1995)
• Shedding Silence (1987)
• Awake in the River (1978)
• This is poem is concerned with ethnic
identity, sexuality, gender, and attempts to
conform to impossible standards of beauty.
• Other themes include violence, AsianAmerican solidarity, and horrors of war.
• Epstein, Edward. "S.F. Names Second Poet Laureate /
Janice Mirikitani's Style `vibrant, Tough'" SFGate.
Hearst Corporation, 7 Feb. 2000. Web. 19 Sept. 2013.
• Mirikitani, Janice. “Doreen.” Unsettling America. Maria
Mazziotti Gillan and Jennifer Gillan. New York: Penguin
Books. 1994. 55-57. Print
• Shetterly, Robert. "Janice Mirikitani." Americans Who
Tell The Truth. Robert Shetterly, n.d. Web. 19 Sept.