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Guide to the Nellie Wong papers CEMA 14
CEMA 14  
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Description
Nellie Wong is a poet and activist for feminist and socialist causes based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is co-featured in the documentary film, Mitsuye and Nellie, Asian American Poets (1982) and was featured in the film Just Say It: A Revolution in the Making (2004). Wong's awards include Woman of Words from the San Francisco Women's Foundation and her poem, "Sailing with Memories of Li Hong," was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2005. Two of her poems are permanently engraved in San Francisco Muni public sites at Market and Sanchez Streets and at the Embarcadero. She has performed her work throughout the United States, and in Cuba and China.
Background
A Chinese-American poet and union activist, Nellie Wong was born and raised in the Oakland Chinatown of the 1940's. After the incarceration of over 120,000 Japanese Americans to relocation camps during World War II, Wong worked in her family's great China Restaurant in Oakland's Chinatown. Later, she traveled across the Bay to pursue studies in creative writing at San Francisco State University. Meanwhile, Wong worked at the Bethlehem Steel Corporation as a secretary from 1964-82. Wong began writing poetry in the early 1970's. Wong is one of the founding members of Unbound Feet, a writing collective of Chinese-American women who read together and lectured at universities throughout California, in the late 1970's. Wong's poems deal with themes involving Asian Americans, especially the sense of leaving "home" behind. "I care about the roots of Asian-American culture and how and why they came here," says Wong, referring to the long history of Asians' immigration to America. "It's something every Asian family has experienced."
Extent
11.0 linear feet (35 boxes)
Restrictions
Copyright has not been assigned to the Department of Special Collections, UCSB. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Department of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which also must be obtained.
Availability
The collection is open for research.