Two Languages/One Community: a creative partnership | Mechanics' Institute

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Two Languages/One Community: a creative partnership
with Michael Warr and Chun Yu

This event has been produced in partnership with the San Francisco Writers Conference.

This event will be conducted via Zoom. Click here to register.

Authors Michael Warr and Chun Yu will share lessons from their collaboration in the bilingual project Two Languages / One Community. How did writers from dramatically distinct cultures — one growing up in Yancheng, China, the other in San Francisco, CA. — end up in a creative partnership encompassing translation, community workshops, book and digital publication, and mutual literary criticism? What obstacles and opportunities emerged? How have they confronted COVID-19 in their writing? Come find out in this virtual salon.

Michael Warr's books include Of Poetry and Protest: From Emmett Till to Trayvon Martin (W.W. Norton), and from Tia Chucha Press The Armageddon of Funk, We Are All The Black Boy, and Power Lines: A Decade of Poetry From Chicago's Guild Complex. In 2017 he was named a San Francisco Library Laureate. Other poetry honors include a Creative Work Fund award for his multimedia project Tracing Poetic Memory in Bayview Hunters Point, PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award for Excellence in Literature, Black Caucus of the American Library Association Award, Gwendolyn Brooks Significant Illinois Poets Award, and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship for Poetry. Michael is the former Deputy Director of the Museum of the African Diaspora and has extensive experience in community-based arts. He became a board member of the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library in 2018. Follow his creative work at

Chun Yu, Ph.D. is the author of the multi-award-winning memoir Little Green (Simon & Schuster) and a historical graphic novel in progress (Macmillan) and more. Her work has been published in the award-winning anthology Veterans of War, Veterans of Peace, Open Doors, Boston Herald, MIT Tech Talk, etc. Her new bilingual poetry collection in English and Chinese and her graphic novel on Chinese immigration experience have won San Francisco Arts Commission Cultural Equity and Individual Artist Grants. Her work merges science, art, and spirituality based on her experiences as an immigrant from an ancient culture undergoing revolution to a new world of transformative science and technologies. She has won support from the Zellerbach Foundation and Poets & Writers etc. for her community work in poetry and writing. Chun holds a B.S. and M.S. from Peking University and a Ph.D. from Rutgers in chemistry, and was a postdoctoral fellow at a Harvard-MIT joint program. Her website:

All books mentioned above are available via Alexander Book Company.


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