Poet Jeff Tagami was born in Watsonville, California, in 1954. Tagami’s maternal great grandparents were originally from the Philippines and immigrated to Hawaii in 1912. His mother was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, and later moved to California. Tagami’s work frequently describes the struggles of Asian agricultural workers in the region. Tagami attended Cabrillo College before moving to San Francisco in the 1970s and joining the Kearney Street Collective, a group of Asian American writers and artists. He earned his BA from the University of California-Santa Cruz and an MA from San Francisco State University, both in the 1990s. He published one collection of poetry, October Light (2002), and helped edit four anthologies. His poem “Song of Pajaro” was featured in the PBS documentary The US of Poetry. He taught at Cabrillo College and lived with his wife, the poet Shirley Ancheta, until his death from cancer in 2012.

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