A search engine is shining the online spotlight on a pivotal Vancouver-based literary figure.
Google Doodles are temporary alterations to the Google logo on its homepage.
Today’s Google Doodle is of Jim Wong-Chu, a poet, author, editor, historian, and tireless activist who devoted his life to advancing Asian Canadian literature.
On this day in 1949, Wong-Chu was born in Hong Kong, before he moved to Vancouver in 1953.
While he worked as a Canada Post letter carrier, his life’s work was bringing the art and letters of Asian Canadian writers to prominence.
In response to an underrepresentation of writers of Asian descent in Canada’s literary scene, he founded the Asian Canadian Writers’ Workshop (ACWW) in 1996, which turned its newsletter into the literary journal Ricepaper.
Among the writers who have been involved with the ACWW and Ricepaper are authors Madeleine Thien and Kevin Chong, poets Evelyn Lau and Rita Wong, and many more.
His 1986 book of poetry, Chinatown Ghosts, made him one of the first Chinese Canadian authors to be published in Canada. He also edited several anthologies of Asian Canadian writing.
Wong-Chu sadly died at the age of 68 on July 11, 2017. Today would have been his 72nd birthday.
However, his legacy clearly not only lives on but thrives with the ongoing success of Asian Canadian writers.