honolulu, hawai'i| november 30, 2011
Hawai'i is an exciting place to be a poet.
Every first Thursday, you can attend Hawai'i Slam. Every Second Saturday you can witness Youth Speaks Hawai'i. Every third Monday, you can check out M.I.A. Art & Literary Series, recently voted Best Literary Series in the Honolulu Weekly. Additionally, you can get your poetry on at the numerous occasional series that occur either through organizations (such as Native Voices and Pacific Writers Connection), or through publishers (such as Bamboo Ridge Press, Tinfish Press, Kuleana Oiwi Press, Kahuaomanoa Press, Mutual Publishing, Ala Press, and others).
You could end up at The Arts at Mark's Garage, Fresh Café, Native Books, Revolution Books, or 39 Hotel. You could also find yourself in the university and community college literary circuit. The University of Hawaii (Manoa), Windward Community College, Kapiolani Community College, Hawaii Pacific University, and Chaminade University (to name a few) all host writers on occasion.
While not all the audiences at these various literary communities intersect, you are sure to find at least a few familiar faces at every event. In terms of the poets in Hawai'i, they come from so many cultures and homelands and write in many distinct languages and literary styles. This gives the literary scene here a vibrant diversity through which to view Pacific, American, and international poetics.
This feature is one small slice of this literary scene. As a new creative writing faculty member in the English Department at the University of Hawai'i, Manoa, I simply wanted to feature a few poets from the faculty and student body of my department. I want to thank the five wonderful poets for not only submitting their wonderful poems, but also for providing the list of links for LOCUSPOINT readers.
I hope you will enjoy the poems. I also hope that you will surf the web and learn more about Hawai'i's literary activities. Perhaps you may even purchase a book from one of the publishers. If you visit, I look forward to meeting you at one of the poetry readings!
No, I don't work at Hawai'i's tourism bureau. I just really love being a poet here.
a Chamoru from Guahan (Guam), is the co-founder of Ala Press, co-editor of Chamoru Childhood: an anthology of Chamoru literature (2010), and author of two poetry books: from unincorporated territory [hacha] (Tinfish Press, 2008) and from unincorporated territory [saina] (Omnidawn Publishing, 2010), winner of the Pen Center USA 2011 Poetry Award. He is an Assistant Professor in the English Department at the University of Hawai'i, Manoa.