The Hawai‘i Literacy Arts Council, Cades Award Winners

The Hawai‘i Literacy Arts Council

Mission Memorial Auditorium
Saturday, May 5, 2:30 pm
The Mission Memorial Auditorium will showcase the The Hawai‘i Literacy Arts Council‘s 2011 Cades Awards for Literature winners. Janine Oshiro, an Oregon’s Literacy Arts fellow, will share her poetry and Rockefeller Foundation fellow Garrett Hongo‘s work will be represented on his behalf.

The Hawai‘i Literary Arts Council was founded in 1974 to encourage and promote literature and literary activity of all sorts in Hawai‘i. The primary activating force in its founding was the poet and reviewer Phyllis Thompson. Phyllis had been organizing readings and generally energizing the scene before then, and in 1974, with the help of her ambitious students and proteges, along with other colleagues and supporters, HLAC got underway.

Since then, almost every literary activity in Hawai‘i—poetry and fiction readings, workshops, conferences, seminars—involving the full range of local writers and visiting writers, has been either sponsored, co-sponsored, or promoted by HLAC. The list of writers supported by HLAC is huge, including W. S. Merwin, Reuel Denney, and Nobel Prize-winner Czeslaw Milosz, to name three.

Most important, HLAC is open and fair. HLAC supports all the local literary reviews and magazines that contact—Hawai‘i , Chaminade Literary Review, Manoa, Bamboo Ridge, Hawai‘i Pacific Review, Rainbird, and many others over the years, including the feisty independent alternative magazine, Oahu Review, edited by Joe Balaz, and the very newest magazines shaking up the literary community, including ‘Oiwi, Hybolics, and others.

HLAC is non-profit, supported by the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, the NEA, and, crucially, its membership and volunteers.

The 2011 Elliot Cades Award for Literature winners:

Japanese American poet Garrett Hongo was born in Volcano, Hawai‘i, in 1951. He attended Pomona University and the University of Michigan. He received his MFA in English from the University of California at Irvine.

His collections of poetry include Coral Road: Poems (Alfred A. Knopf, 2011); The River of Heaven (1988), which was the Lamont Poetry Selection of The Academy of American Poets and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and Yellow Light (1982). He is also the author of Volcano: A Memoir of Hawai‘i (1995), and he has edited Songs My Mother Taught Me: Stories, Plays and Memoir by Wakako Yamauchi (1994) and The Open Boat: Poems from Asian America (1993).

His honors include fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Rockefeller Foundation.

He is currently Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Oregon at Eugene, where he directed the Program in Creative Writing from 1989 to 1993.

— from Poets.org

Janine Oshiro holds degrees from Whitworth College (now Whitworth University), Portland State University, and the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She is a Kundiman fellow and the recipient of a poetry fellowship from Oregon’s Literary Arts. She lives in Hawaii and teaches at Windward Community College.

— from Alice James Books

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