Hōʻike na ka Pō: [email protected]ānoa, a creative writing event hosted by the UHM Creative Writing Program and Hawai’i Review, held its 8th annual conference for community members on Saturday.
Many local and experienced authors such as Lehua Parker, Sha Merirei OngelungelTani Loo, Dr. Lee Kava and more workshops led in their area of expertise that allowed students, alumni and others to gain knowledge in the different areas of creative writing.
Registration was free for all UH Manoa students and more than 100 participants took advantage of the offer. The five-hour conference was an opportunity for participants to think, share, dream and write in community.
Taking place on Zoom this year, each featured writer gave sessions in breakout rooms where they presented their work, followed by a workshop where attendees could share what they learned.
Hawai’i Review Editor-in-Chief Aaron Lokepa Ki’ilua opened this year’s [email protected]ānoa creative writing conference, showing his gratitude and appreciation for everyone who helped make this possible.
“The theme of our conference, Hōʻike na ka Pō, is borrowed from an ʻōlelo noʻeau [wise saying] it reminds us to keep an eye out for the messages in our dreams,” Ki’ilua said. “So we decided to find artists who could better run workshops that helped creative writers connect dreamer and artist.”
He said he was grateful for the support of his Hawai’i Review team in bringing together a gathering of local and international writing communities.
“People are still looking forward to this conference, and I’m very happy that the new challenges posed by its transition to an online format due to the pandemic haven’t stopped its fans from showing up,” Ki’ilua said. .
Dr. Marie Alohalani Brown was the keynote speaker for the event and is the author of “Ka Po’e Mo’o Akua: Hawaiian Reptilian Water Deities,” she gave a keynote address at the conference, followed by a reading of an excerpt from her book.
Dr. Brown’s writings specialize in areas such as Hawaiian religion and history while focusing on historical trauma and healing. In her keynote, she sought to demonstrate how writing allowed her to dedicate her appreciation to her ancestral roots.
Tani Loo, a UHM alumna who earned her MA in English with a concentration in Creative Writing, led a workshop where she taught the basics of fiction writing.
His session, lasting an hour and a half, consisted of an introduction followed by the principles and explanations of free writing, the narrative arc, mind mapping, narrative techniques and sharing.
More than 100 participants had the opportunity to participate in three separate sessions.
Session 1 focused on immersive writing, ʻIke ʻĀina: Writing (in) place and indigenous power/solidarity.
The second session contained Shaping Dreamscapes: A Fiction Workshop, From Po to Poem and Asphalt Spells.
The third session focused on Vaʻa miti (Dreamboat): writing our dreams, reorienting colonial dreams and drawing in the dark.
“I’m especially proud of this year’s conference because of the strong queer Pasifika representation in our roster of presenters,” said Tina Togafau, editor of Hawai’i Review. “It was an honor to show their talents, their creativity and to present their work to the students of UHM.”
The writing conference is set to return for students next year and is free to attendees with the help of donations.
For more information visit: https://english.hawaii.edu/wordsmanoa/