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Item # 153648.
By Mitsuye May Yamada.
At the age of 96, the acclaimed poet, essayist, educator, feminist and human rights activist has released her latest work. Yamada was born in Kyushu, Japan in 1923. She grew up in Seattle, Washington. In 1942, when she was 17, her family was among 120,000 persons of Japanese ancestry who were forcibly removed from their homes and relocated to concentration camps for the duration of the war. She later attended the University of Cincinnati and earned a BA from New York University and an MA from the University of Chicago. She received an Honorary Doctorate from Simmons College in Boston.
Yamada was one of the first and most vocal of Asian American women writers who wrote about the wartime incarceration of Japanese Americans. She authored two previous poetry collections, Camp Notes and Other Poems (1976) and Desert Run: Poems and Stories (1988).
With a lifelong commitment to fighting for human rights, Yamada worked for many years with a local chapter of Amnesty International and was elected to serve on the Amnesty International USA National Board of Directors where she served two terms.
Yamada was featured in the 1981 documentary Mitsuye and Nellie: Two Asian American Woman Poets by the academy award-winning filmmakers Light-Saraf Films. She was the recipient of a MELUS award, a Vesta Award from the Los Angeles Woman’s Building, and a Jesse Bernard Wise Women Award from the Center for Women’s Policy Studies, Washington DC. She was a Women’s Day USA Honoree and has been designated a KCET Local Hero. Paper: 125 pp.