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Shinshii Janet Aalfs

Shinshii Janet Aalfs, 2nd poet laureate of Northampton, MA (2003-2005), published poet and writer, master Taiji/Qigong instructor, and 7th-degree black belt in both Okinawan Karate and Filipino Modern Arnis, has been sharing her poetic movement weavings locally, nationally, and internationally for 40+ years. Founder and director of Lotus Peace Arts at Heron's Bridge/Valley Women's Martial Arts, a non-profit community school since 1977, Janet is dedicated to helping create sites for revelation, creative understanding, empowerment, and healing. Recipient of the Leadership and Advocacy in the Arts Award (UMass 2013), the NWMAF Founders Award (2016), IMA Black Belt Hall of Fame Pioneer Award (2013), and Connecticut Martial Arts Masters Lifetime Achievement Award (2011), Janet practices peace-building through arts activism. In 2008-2009 and 2018, she participated in performing artist teaching exchanges in western MA and in Cape Town, South Africa. Janet received an MFA in poetry from Sarah Lawrence College and has been a featured presenter and performer at numerous events and conferences. Her most recent book of poems is Bird of a Thousand Eyes (Levellers Press).

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