Write Now! SF Bay Founder/Director
For more information: www.shizueseigel.com

Shizue Seigel is a third-generation Japanese American writer, visual artist and community activist who explores complex intersections of history, culture and spirituality through prose, poetry and visual art.

The child of former incarcerees, she was born in 1946 and grew up in segregated Baltimore, Occupied Japan, California farm labor camps and skid-row Stockton. She’s a college dropout who learned by doing—from the Haight-Ashbury to Indian ashrams to corporate advertising. In the mid 1990s, she began working with UCSF/Centers for Disease Control, the National Japanese American Historical Society, California Civil Liberties Public Education Program and others on community-based writing projects addressing HIV prevention, the Japanese American experience, gentrification, and other issues. ​Since founding Write Now! SF Bay in 2015 to give voice to the voiceless, her work has been supported by San Francisco Arts Commission, California Humanities, Literary Arts Covid Response Fund, Zellerbach Family Foundation, and Center for Cultural Innovation.


See www.shizueseigel for more information about her additional activities. Her prose, poetry, and artwork have been widely published in literary journals and antholgies.


• 2019: Editor: Civil Liberties United: Diverse Voices from the San Francisco Bay Area, Press Press, 300 pp,

• 2019: Co-author: My First 100 Years: The Memoirs of Nellie Nakamura (2nd printing of A Century of Change) 198pp.

• 2016: Editor, Standing Strong! Fillmore & Japantown, Pease Press, 140 pp.

• 2010: Editor/contributing artist, Distillations: Meditations on the Japanese American Experience from Four Sansei
Asian American Women Artists Association and John F. Kennedy University, Pease Press, 70 pp

• 2006: Author, In Good Conscience: Supporting Japanese Americans During the Internment, AACP, Inc. 320pp.

• 2002: Co-author, Century of Change: The Memoirs of Nellie Nakamura. Private commission, 2002, 198 p


Anthologies (contributor)

• March 2021: He(oics): Women's Lived Experience During the Pandemic, Regal Press.

• Summer 2019: "Who do You Think You Are?" We've Been Too Patient: Voices from Radical Mental Health, L.D. Green and Kelechi Ubozoh, eds, North Atlantic Books.

• Jan 2018: “Swimming in the New Normal,” All the Women in My Family Sing, Deborah Santana, ed. NTTB Press

• 2017: “Arboreal Homicide,” Your Golden Sun Still Shines, Denise Sullivan, ed., Manic D Press

• 2017: “lost,” Lost: Reflections anthology, Medusa’s Laugh Press

• 2015: “A Conspiracy of Blandness,” 2015 Anthology of Featured Poets, Moonstone Poetry Series, Philadelphia

• 2009: “Grandma’s House,” and “X-Ray Eyes,” Empty Shoes: Poems on the Hungry and the Homeless, Popcorn Press

•  2008: “A Trunk of Dreams” and “A Living Civics Lesson,” My Words Are Gonna Linger: The Art of Personal History, Association of Personal Historians,

• 2007: “Don’t Look Away,” Cheers to Muses: Contemporary Works by Asian American Women, Asian American Women Artists Association

• 2003: “A Well-Made Life,” InvAsian: Growing Up Asian American and Female in the United States, Asian Women United


Literary Journals (contributor)

• Summer 2019: "Zembu Arigatai," Soundings East

• March 2019: "More than a Number, sPARKLE + bLINK

• Jan 2019: "The Camp after Camp," Getting Cold in the City, Bay Area Generations

• Fall 2016: “The Beggar Woman’s Baby,” Eleven Eleven  print

• Spring 2016: “The Elephant Hair,” AWAY Journal online

• Winter 2015: “Of Christmas and Karma,” Persimmon Tree online

• Nov 2015: “Too Bad,” Mother of All Stories on-line (Asian Women United) online

• Nov 2015:  “raw does not bleed,” poem and artwork, Whirlwind Magazine #6, print & online

• Aug 2015: “One Woman’s Hell… A Gentrifier’s Lament,” Poor Magazine

• Aug 2015  “Souvenirs of New Orleans,” poem, Whirlwind Magazine #5, print & online

• June 2014: “The Sansei Perspective,” Discover Nikkei online


Selected Readings


• Dec 3, 2020 (Zoom): Eves at the Beat (Zoom) Women Stand Up to Be Counted

• Nov 22 (Zoom): Claim Ourselves, Connect With Others, in partnership with Oakland Asian Cultural Center and Write Now! present UC Berkeley Asian American Studies and Asian Diaspora Program and Public Service Center.

• Oct 17 (Zoom) Lit Crawl Write Now presents Stand UP and Be Counted 

• Sept 17: "Identity, Isolation, and Mental Health," Lowell High School Literature and Psychology class 

• July 25 (Zoom): Healing Around Racism: Creativity & Activism, in partnership with Oakland Asian Cultural Center and Write Now! present UC Berkeley Asian American Studies and Asian Diaspora Program and Public Service Center.

• July 11 (Zoom/YouTube Live): Oakland Asian Cultural Center and Write Now! presents Healing Around Racism: Mental Health & Multicularrtal Solidarity in partnership with UC Berkeley Asian American Studies and Asian Diaspora Program and UC Berkeley Public Service Center.

• July 9 (Zoom):San Francisco Public Library Poem Jam, Civil Liberties United reading curated by Kim Shuck, 

• June 25 (Zoom): Curated Words, curated by Nicole Henares

• June 10 (Zoom):Wed, 7:30-10:30, Sacred Grounds open mic, Shizue Seigel featured reader

May 21 (Zoom): Write from the Gut, readings from the San Francisco Creative Writing Institute

• May 19 (Zoom): Get Lit, Nomadic Press

• May 15 (Zoom): Poetry for the People, Our Voices Emerging. In the Time of COVID-19 guest reader

• May 3 (Zoom):Write Now! presents Stand Up and Be Counted in the Era of COVID -32 writers /activists of color and allies

• April 25 (Zoom):Poetry Under the Dome

• April 24 (Zoom): Avotcja’s La Palabra Musical

• April 4 (Zoom): POSTPONED due to COVID. Eves at the Beat, curated by Shizue Seigel.

• March 29 (Zoom): POSTPONED due to COVID. University of Michigan, Why I Fight

• Jan 24 (Zoom): Oakland Center for Spiritual Living, Civil Liberties United reading


• Dec 2019: Howard Zinn Book Fair

• Sept 2019: Civil Liberties United, Browser Books (SF) & Oakland Asian Cultural Center and Cesar Chavez Library (Oakland)

• Aug 2019: We’ve Been Too Patient, The Bindery (SF) & Books Inc (Berkeley)

• July 2019:  Eves at the Beat, Women Reading at the Beat Museum

• July 2019: Civil Liberties United, Bird & Beckett bookstore

• June 2019: Civil Liberties United Book Launch and Creative Showcase, San Francisco Main Library, Koret Auditorium

• May 2019: Get Lit, Nomadic Press, Alehouse Industries

• April 2019: featured reader Poetry Month, Gears Turning, Adobe Books

• Mar-Apr 2019: Endangered Species, Enduring Values five-week featured reader series, Sacred Grounds open mic, San Francisco.

• Mar 2019: Endangered Species reading, Eastwind Books of Berkeley

• Mar  2019: Quiet Lightning; Soul-Making Keats Prize Winners Reading

• Feb 2019: Al Robles Memorial, Fillmore Heritage Center

• Feb 2019: Center for Spiritual Living, Endangered Species

• Jan 2019: Making Waves, National Japanese American Society

• Jan 2019: Bay Area Generations

• Jan 2019: Traps Trauma Transformations, Moondrop Productions

• Jan 2019: Endangered Species, Browser Books

2019: Sept 7: Civil Liberties United, Oakland Asian Cultural Center

Sept 4: Civil Liberties United, Cesar Chavez Library, Oakland 

Aug 24: La Palabra Musical with Avotcja, Cesar Chavez Library, Oakland 

Aug 23: Civil Liberties, Browser Books

Aug 14, We’ve Been Too Patient, Bindery

July 11: Eves at the Beat. Beat Museum 

June 22 Civil Liberties United, Koret auditorium, San Francisco Main Library

Aug 13, We’ve Been Too Patient, Books Inc.,  Berkeley

June 21: La Verdad Musical with Avotcja and Tony Aldarondo,  KPOO

June 18: Bebop Cubop and The Musical Truth, with Avotcja and Kim Shuck, KPFA 

May 21: Get Lit,  Alehouse Industries, Oakland

May 4: Bay Area Book Festival, moderator- Resurrection: Reclaiming the Stories that Make Us Whole with Cherríe Moraga, Mallory O’Meara, and Alexandria Brown

April 14: Gears Turning with Kim Shuck, National Poetry Month featured reader

March 27-April 4: Sacred Grounds features readers from Endangered Species, Enduring Values

March 31: Soulmaking Keats Literary Prizewinners, Koret Auditorium

March 4 : Quiet Lightning

March 3: Endangered Species, Enduring Values, Eastwind  Books of Berkeley

Feb 22: Endangered Species, Enduring Values, Center for Spiritual Living

Feb 21, Getting Cold in the City, Al Robles Tribute, Fillmore Heritage Center

Jan 20:  Traps Trauma Transformation, Moonstone Productions

Jan 11: Endangered Species, Enduring Values,  Browser Books,

Jan 5: Making Waves, National Japanese American Historical Society


Literary Residencies

* 2018: Hypatia-in-the Woods

• 2018: Newnan Art Rez

• 2017: Jentel Literary Residency, Banner, Wyoming

• 2017 Associate Writer in Prose with Mitchell S. Jackson, Atlantic Center for the Arts

• 2016: Associate Writer in Fiction with Porochista Khakpour, Atlantic Center for the Arts

• 2009: Activist Arts Retreat, Amed, Bali, Indonesia, Genny Lim

• 2010: Case Riva Writer's Retreat, Chiaverano, Italy

• 2013: PrecArt Writer's Retreat, Chiaverano, Italy

• 2002: scholarship, first annual A Room of Her Own Writers Retreat


Visual Art: Highlights from three solo and 31 group exhibitions from 2007-present

• 2017: “Mission Street [Past•Present•Future Tense],” 165-photo installation, Dia de Los Muertos group show, SOMArts Cultural Center

• 2017: 230-image photo montage and “Sixth Street Needle Exchange” sound installation, To Be and To Become: Mission Street group show, California Institute of Integral Studies. https://www.ciis.edu/about-ciis/the-arts-at-ciis/arts-at-ciis-events/to-be-and-to-become-mission-streeet-san-francisco  Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F38yQG-KomE

• May 2017: 4 photocollages about the incarceration, Shifting Movements: Art Inspired by Yuri Kochiyama, Asian American Women Artists Association, SOMArts.

• Oct 2016: “ The Spirit of the Mission,” a fifty-photo installation for A Promise Not to Forget: Día de los Muertos 2016  SOMArts  http://www.somarts.org/shizueseigelartistinterview/

• 2011-2013: Laramie: A Gem City Atlas, collaborative art-map project with Rebecca Solnit and University of Wyoming MFA Creative Writing Program) traveled to four venues: Univ. of Wyoming Art Museum, Laramie, WY; Univ. of Wyoming Library; California Institute for Integral Studies and Thoreau Center for Sustainability, San Francisco.

• 2012 solo show: Laramie Mapping Myths and Realities, Thoreau Center, San Francisco.

• 2012 solo: Ephemeral Allure; Eternal Struggle. UC Santa Barbara Women's Center.

• 2010 solo: Double Vision: A Celebration of Hybridity, UC Santa Barbara Multicultural Center

• 2010: Distillations: Meditations on the Japanese American Experience, Arts & Consciousness Gallery, John F. Kennedy University, Berkeley, CA, 2010.


Work experience:

• 2002-present: Writer, visual artist, cartographer, creative writing workshop facilitator on project basis

1998-2001, Editor/Art Director, Nikkei Heritage magazine, National Japanese Historical Society

• 1995-1997. Acting Coordinator/Media Specialist, PHREDA HIV prevention project, University of California San Francisco/Centers for Disease Control

• 1984-1991, Art Director, J. Walter Thompson, DDB Needham, Charles Schwab, Gardner, Wells Marketing.  Clients included Chevron, Kaiser Permanente, ComputerLand, KTVU-Channel 2, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Wells Fargo Bank.


Selected Writing Workshops facilitated:

• on-going monthly since 2015: Write Now! for writers of color at San Francisco Main Library, San Francisco African American Historical & Cultural Society and National Japanese American Historical Society  (initially funded by SFAC Individual Artist Commission)

• on-going monthly since 2013: Reverie Writers

• A Place of One's Own, a Place In the World, Asian American Women Artists Association, Thoreau Center for Sustainability,

• 2014: Writing from the Heart, San Francisco YMCA, 6-week series

• 2006-2009: Senior Asian American Women Writers, weekly, Japanese Community and Cultural Center

• 2006: Japanese American Memoir, weekly, J-Sei Senior Center, Berkeley, CA

• 2003-2004: Lasting Memories: A Memoir Group for Asian American Men, weekly, Japanese Community and Cultural Center




1981-1984: Academy of Art College, Advertising and Illustration                           

1979-1981: College of Marin, Painting and Printmaking


Week-Long or Multi-Week Writing workshops

2019: Omnidawn Poetry Conference

2018: Memoir, Elmaz Abinader, VONA/Voices

2017: Prose, S. Mitchell Jackson, Atlantic Center for the Arts
Travel, Katherine Harer, Writing Salon

2016: Writing for Artists & Activists, Faith Adiele, Writers Grotto
Poetry Maw Shein Win, Writers Grotto

2015: Memoir, Zoe Carter, Writers Grotto

2016: Fiction with Porochista Khakpour, Atlantic Center for the Arts

2015: Residency, David Mura, VONA/Voices=

2014: Memoir, Memoir Continuation 1 & 2, Kathleen McClung, Writing Salon

2013: Memoir, Faith Adiele, VONA/Voices
Intro to Memoir, Memoir Continuation 1 & 2, Kathleen McClung, Writing Salon,

2009: Poetry, Activist Artists Retreat, Amed, Bali, Indonesia, Genny Lim

2004: Poetry, From the Margins, Truong Tran, Intersection for the Arts,

2004: Kearny Street Workshop, Fiction, Junse Kim

2003: All-Genre, Truong Tran, Kearny Street Workshop:

2003: Memoir, Anne Finger, A Room of Her Room Writers Retreat, Ghost Ranch, NM

2002: Prose, Writing Out of the Dark, Margo Perin

WRITE NOW! SF Bay • www.WriteNowSF.com • writenowsf(at)gmail(dot)com

Fiscally sponsored by Intersection for the Arts, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Intersection for the Arts is a historic arts nonprofit that provides people working in arts and culture with fiscal sponsorship and resources to grow.

Supported by the San Francisco Arts Commission. This project was made possible with support from California Humanities, a non-profit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Visit www.calhum.org.