About Shizue Seigel
Writer • Artist • Photographer • Community Activist • 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.
She was born in 1946 just after her family's release from mass incarceration. Growing up as an Army brat, she experienced radically different environments—from segregated, working-class Baltimore to Occupied Japan to skid-row Stockton and California farm labor camps where she picked strawberries on her knees alongside grandparents trying to put their lives back together after losing everything during the incarceration.
She moved to fogbound San Francisco in the 1950s just before redevelopment radically transformed Japantown and the Fillmore District. In the 60s, she dropped out of college to seek meaning in the Haight-Ashbury and Indian ashrams. In the 80s, she struggled to balance single parenthood, creativity and right livelihood in the Financial District. In the 90s, she fought the AIDS epidemic in public housing and needle exchanges before joining San Francisco’s activist arts community to help tell the stories of ordinary people caught in extraordinary circumstances.
Her books include Standing Strong: Fillmore & Japantown, and In Good Conscience: Supporting Japanese Americans during the Internment. Her prose and poetry has appeared in Eleven Eleven, Away Journal, Persimmon Tree, Poor Magazine, Mother of All Stories, Whirlwind Magazine, and Stone’s Throw, and anthologized in All the Women in My Family Sing, Your Golden Sun Shines On, Lost: Reflections, Moonstone Anthology of Featured Poets, Empty Shoes: Poems on the Hungry and the Homeless, My Words Are Gonna Linger: The Art of Personal History, Cheers to Muses: Contemporary Works by Asian American Women, and InvAsian: Growing Up Asian American and Female in the United States.
Her visual art has been exhibited locally, national and internationally at SOMArts Cultural Center, Thoreau Center for Sustainabiity, California Institute of Integral Studies, John F. Kenney University, University of California Santa Barbara, the Kinsey Institute, Woman Made Gallery, the UN NGO Conference in Mexico City, Ecomuseo of Chiaverano, Italy, and elsewhere.