Image Courtesy: Google Doodle
Jim Wong-Chu (28 January 1949 – 11 July 2017) was a Canadian activist, community organizer, poet, author, editor, and historian. Wong-Chu is one of Canada’s most celebrated literary pioneers. He also co-edited several anthologies featuring Asian Canadian writers.
Life and Career
Jim Wong-Chu was born in Hong Kong on 28 January 1949. Jim Wong-Chu came to Canada in 1953 at age four as a paper son, to live with his aunt and uncle in British Columbia. He was an active member of the Asian Canadian community and worked to promote Asian Canadian literature and culture.
He began publishing poetry in the 1970s and was a co-founder of the Asian Canadian Writers’ Workshop in 1980, which aimed to provide a platform for Asian Canadian writers. He also co-edited the first anthology of Asian Canadian literature, “Rice Paper,” in 1985. He also edited the Asian Canadian anthology “Many-Mouthed Birds” in 1991.
In addition to his work as a writer and editor, Wong-Chu was also active in community organizations and events. He was involved in the organizing committee for the Asian Heritage Month in Vancouver and the Asian Canadian Writers’ and Artists’ Conference.
He passed away on 11 July 2017 because of a stroke, leaving behind a legacy of promoting Asian Canadian literature and culture.
His work has been recognized and celebrated by the Asian Canadian community and his contribution to the literary community was acknowledged by organizations such as the Asian Canadian Writers’ Workshop, which established the Jim Wong-Chu Emerging Writers Award in his honor.
Award and Legacy
His legacy and impact on the Asian Canadian literary community continue to be celebrated and honored posthumously.
His work as a writer, editor, and community activist has been recognized by various organizations and events in the Asian Canadian community.
In recognition of his contribution to Asian Canadian literature, the Asian Canadian Writers’ Workshop established the Jim Wong-Chu Emerging Writers Award in his honor. The award is given annually to an emerging Asian Canadian writer who has demonstrated excellence in literary arts, community engagement and mentorship.
His legacy has been celebrated in various ways such as in 2012, The City of Vancouver recognized his contribution to the literary community by naming a laneway in the city’s Chinatown after him.
His work continues to be remembered and celebrated by the Asian Canadian community, and his contributions to the promotion of Asian Canadian literature and culture are considered significant. His legacy continues to inspire other Asian Canadian writers and activists to follow in his footsteps.
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