Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation

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Rediscovered Poems from Angel Island Immigrants highlight January 21 program in SF

On January 21, 2012, over 50 people gathered at San Francisco's Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California (JCCCNC) to hear a lecture by Charles Egan, professor of Chinese at SF State University, on recent discoveries of poems of Angel Island immigrants. Professor Egan was able to decipher Chinese poems, which were obscured on the detention barrack walls. Japanese and Korean poems written about Angel Island and on the immigrant experience were found by reviewing microfilm of vernacular press of the 1910s to 1940s.

Joining Professor Egan on the program in the readings of the poems was Angel Island docent Marian Seiki and Hak Hee Kang, a poet from the Berkeley Korean Literature Association.

Click on the following links to view short clips of the poetry presentations


Chinese poems 1

Chinese poems 2

Korean poems

Japanese poems

AIISF wishes to thank the JCCCNC for co-presenting the program. We also thank our sponsors: Asia Society of Northern California, Korean Center, Inc., KGO-TV, and the National Japanese American Historical Society. We are extremely grateful to Charles Egan for sharing his research with us and bringing new Angel Island stories to light.

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