Like many Japanese Americans of her generation, she and her family were interned during World War II; her family was relocated to the Rohwer War Relocation Center in Arkansas.
Mirikitani earned a B.A. at UCLA. She then moved to San Francisco, where she briefly was in graduate school for creative writing at San Francisco State University. She started working for the social-justice oriented Glide Memorial Church in San Francisco -- beginning a relationship that has continued to this day. (More recently she has been the president of the Glide Foundation, a San Francisco non-profit.) She was also briefly involved in the Asian American Political Alliance (AAPA).
In addition to editing Aion and Ayumi: A Japanese American Anthology (1980), she is the author of several books of poetry, including Awake in the River (1978), Shedding Silence (1987), and We, the Dangerous (1995). In 2000, she was appointed the Poet Laureat of the city of San Francisco.
Materials Related to Janice Mirikitani on this Site:
Entry for Janice Mirikitani (by Patricia Wakida, Densho Encyclopedia)
Entry for Janice Mirikitani (Wikipedia)
"For a Daughter Who Leaves..." (poem at Poets.org)
Interview with Janice Mirikitani (YouTube; interview by Densho)