San Francisco – The Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation (AIISF) in association with Angel Island State Park will sponsor “Poetry in Motion: A Celebration of the 100th anniversary of the U.S. Immigration Station” on Saturday May 8. The poetry reading and musical program will take place at the Immigration Station on Angel Island State Park from 11 a.m. to noon, followed by free self-guided tours of the Immigration Station. Over 200 Chinese poems and other inscriptions in Japanese, Russian, Urdu, and German can be found on the barrack walls. The free tours will be available until 4 p.m.
Featured speakers on the program include the following:
Author and educator Maxine Hong Kingston; poet Nellie Wong; and Marin Poet Laureate Albert DeSilver. The San Francisco Girls Chorus will perform musical selections Sing All Ye Joyful, Sacramento Sis Jo, and I Dream A World. Taiko drummers Elaine Fong and Bruce Mui Ghent will perform an excerpt from Journey of a Modern-Day Basho, a taiko/dance piece. High school students from Novato and San Rafael high schools will read English translations of the Angel Island poems.
Maxine Hong Kingston is the author of The Woman Warrior, China Men, Tripmaster Monkey, To Be The Poet, and The Fifth Book of Peace. She was awarded the 1997 National Humanities Medal and has become a prominent peace activist. Her mother, Chew Ying Lan, was an Angel Island immigrant.
Poet Nellie Wong is the author of three volumes of poetry: Death of a Long Steam Lady, Dreams in Harrison Railroad Park, and Stolen Moments. Two of her sisters are Angel Island immigrants. In addition to being a poet, Nellie Wong is also a social justice activist.
Albert Flynn DeSilver is the Poet Laureate of Marin County. He has taught as a California Poet in the Schools and recently published A Field Guide to the Emotions. Working with artist Todd Pickering, DeSilver created the “Poetry Chair,” a 100-pound armchair made out of poetry books. The chair has accompanied DeSilver at numerous workshops and reading throughout Marin County.
Founded in 1978, the San Francisco Girls Chorus has become a regional center for choral music education and performance for girls and young women ages 5-18. More than 380 singers from 44 Bay Area cities participate in this internationally recognized program, deemed “a model in the country for training girls’ voices” by the California Arts Council.
Elaine Fong has performed taiko for more than 25 years and currently belong to Alameda-based taiko group Maze Daiko. Originally trained in dance, Bruce Mui Ghent is currently the executive director of Maikaze Daiko and the resident taiko director at Dance Mission. Their performance piece reimagines the journey of the 17th century poet Basho in contemporary America.
The Mistress of Ceremonies for the program will be Felicia Lowe, director of Carved in Silence and other PBS documentaries.
Low-cost ferry service is available courtesy of AIISF and the Blue and Gold Fleet only on the 9:30 a.m. ferry from Pier 41 in San Francisco. Please arrive at the dock by 9:15 a.m. Return service from Angel Island to Pier 41 will be at 1:30 p.m. and 3:50 p.m.
Visitors from Marin County can take the 10 a.m. ferry from the Angel Island Ferry at the Tiburon dock. Discounted ferry service will also be available only on the 10 a.m. ferry. Return service to Tiburon is hourly at 10:20 a.m. to 5:20 p.m.
Upon arrival at Ayala Cove, visitors can walk approximately one mile to the Immigration Station. Tram rides to the Immigration Station are available from the Angel Island Cafe for $5 round-trip. Discounted tram service for the elderly is available upon request to AIISF. Food is also available at the cafe all day.
Please bring your own lawn chairs or blankets for festival-style seating at the Immigration Station.
For more information, please call AIISF at 415 262.4429 or write to firstname.lastname@example.org
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