Her lifelong commitment to human rights and peace is expressed in her poetry and social action. Her published writings heavily focus on her bicultural heritage, women and human rights issues. Camp Notes and Other Writings, a combined volume of her first two books was published by Rutgers University Press. She combines her interest in human rights and poetry in HUMAN RIGHTS AWARENESS THROUGH POETRY: GUIDELINES FOR TEACHERS.
Yamada was born in Kyushu, Japan in 1923 and spent most of her formative years in Seattle, Washington, until the outbreak of World War II when she and her family were forcibly removed to a concentration camp in Idaho. She has taught English and literature in Cypress College and after retirement served as Associate Professor in Asian American Studies at the University of California in Irvine. She served on the Board of Directors of Amnesty International for two terms and is a member of the Committee on International Development of AIUSA which promotes and funds development of human rights work in Third World countries. she was recently awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Simmons College in Massachusetts.
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