Pacific Writers Connection



PWC 10 Year Celebration >
PWC’s Ho’olaule’a Anthology – Celebrating 10 Years >
Hanalei Writers’ Retreat 2012 >
Celebrate Reading 2012 >
My Hawai‘i Story Project >
PWC Writers in the Schools Program >
Ma’ohi Writers from Tahiti >

PWC 10 Year Celebration

In 2011, PWC celebrated our ten year anniversary! Over a decade ago we started our organization by bringing people together in 2001 to discuss environmental issues, cultural traditions, and explored the interests and needs of writers in Hawaii and the Pacific region. We sponsor writing retreats and workshops in Hanalei, Hana, and Honolulu to support and inspire writers. PWC also continues to collaborate with partnership initiatives such as Celebrate Reading and the My Hawai‘i story writing competition for students, and our Writers in the Schools Program.

William S. Merwin - As part of our year-long celebration, we organized an evening of poetry with William S. Merwin, U.S. Poet Laureate, his wife Paula, and Honolulu writers at the home of Rita Young-Riggs in Honolulu. The group was treated to readings by William, and UH Manoa writers Nalani McDougall, Craig Santos Perez and Jaimie Gusman.

pwcWilliam S. Merwin, U.S. Poet Laureate pwcWilliam Merwin relaxes with Honolulu writers at our 10 Year Celebration poetry evening, October 2011 pwcNalani McDougall reads her poetry. pwcMichael Broderick, Paula Merwin, Rita Young-Riggs, Takiora, Nalani and Chamorro writer Craig Santos Perez


PWC’s Ho’olaule’a Anthology – Celebrating 10 Years

The idea for our Anthology, Ho‘olaule‘a, grew out of the Hanalei Writers Retreat on Kaua‘i, one of the many writing workshops and retreats sponsored by the Pacific Writers’ Connection over the last ten years. Writers from Hanalei, Hana, Honolulu, and the guest faculty who have inspired them over a decade, are featured in our new publication which will be out in August, 2012. Watch for further announcements! Honolulu writers and the representatives from the Hana, Maui writing community are also featured.
more about the book >

Hanalei Writers’ Retreat 2012

Our 9th Annual Hanalei Retreat, Writing About the Extraordinary, with Guest Faculty Hope Edelman, was well received by our Kaua’i group of writers.

Participants were asked to bring a short (750 words or less) write-up of a recent or past coincidence they had experienced and also completed short writing exercises throughout the weekend. Hope focused on narrative structure, character arcs, detail and description, and scene work and led a two-day adventure that was both fun and informative.

Hope is the author of five nonfiction books, including the bestsellers Motherless Daughters and Motherless Mothers. Her most recent book, The Possibility of Everything, is a memoir about taking her three-year-old daughter to Mayan healers in Belize while rediscovering her marriage and her sense of faith in the process.

Feedback from some of the retreat participants:

- It was a most splendid ride, intense, inspiring, bountiful in the generosity of all who taught and wrote and commented and read and shared...I learned oceans that will now drive and texture and craft my words and I'm filled with gratitude for our time together. Mahalo a me ke aloha pumehana.

- Such a wonderful retreat, I learned enough to become a writer! Wonderful group, setting and teacher/teaching. I was thrilled with every moment! A weekend Beyond The Beyond!

- So honored to have spent 2 days among fellow risk takers who write it down as it unfolds.

- Hope, thank you for focusing on structure and architecture in our work. My notes from last weekend are a goldmine. Hob and PWC, you have my gratitude once again for producing this workshop.

Messages to the Hanalei Retreat participants:

Mahalo to Carol Wilcox for her generous contribution of her family home, Wilikoki, for our Hanalei creative writing retreats! Mahalo also to all previous guest faculty who sent messages to the Hanalei Retreat participants. Here are some examples:

By now, you dear and beloved women will be deep into your work. In my mind's eye, I can see four of you at the table on the porch, your heads bent toward each other as you listen to a woman read. I can see someone sitting on the window seat, writing intently in her journal. Someone is walking the beach in the early morning, thinking about the right word for that shade of blue. One of you will bring a poem, which you will read in a voice that brings tears to the eyes even of those who can't translate the words. Three of you will be sitting on one lawn chair in the low sun, laughing, and one of you will be soaking wet from a swim in the sea. Wind will be clacking in the palm fronds. Geckos will click in the window frames. The sea, always, will pretend to be wind, rushing from place to place. The mountains will be black against the striped sky. Someone will read something that takes your breath away, and when you catch your breath, you will say, oh, and be unable to say anything more. – Kathleen Dean Moore

The stories we generated and gleaned from one another remain rich soil for me.
I return to the peace and fullness of those days repeatedly
– Terry Tempest Williams

Hanalei Retreat participants take a break from writing!


Hana Writers Workshop

Our partnership with the Hana, Maui writing community has also grown, with invaluable support from the Ala Kukui Hana Retreat Center. We are planning another PWC writers’ workshop in the Fall 2012.

Hana writers celebrate the end of their workshop with Tom Peek at Ala Kukui Retreat Center.

Celebrate Reading 2012

PWC, in partnership with the Hawaii Writing Project and others, again cosponsored the Celebrate Reading Festival (CRF) with programs on Maui and Hawai’i. CRF was developed by Executive Director, Lorna Hershinow, to connect generations through conversation and has evolved into Hawaii’s premier writing festival for youth.

Celebrate Reading Festival on Maui was held at the University of Hawai‘i Maui College on April 18, 2012 with the ever popular Slam Poet, Kealoha and guest author readings:

Gail Tsukiyama, Women of the Silk, Street of A Thousand Blossoms
Chris McKinney, Tattoo, Mililani Mauka
Patricia Wood, Lottery
Wing Tek Lum, Expounding the Doubtful Points
Sue Cowing, You Will Call Me Drog
Mark Panek, Big Happiness

Since 2000, the Celebrate Reading - Maui community included teachers, students, librarians, and residents of Maui, Lāna‘i, Moloka‘i, and Hāna. This program provides the opportunity for intermediate, high school, college students, and Maui County community members to come together to celebrate reading and writing through shared booklists, provided books, guided discussions of selected books, writing workshops, and events that allow participants to meet authors from the booklist.

Mahalo to the Sponsors:

• Mahalo to the Hawaii Council for the Humanities,
• The Hawai‘i Writing Project
• University of Hawai‘i Maui College UHMC Student Government
• Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation (Educating the Heart Grant),
• Sidney Stern Memorial Trust,
• Maui County Library Association,
• University of Hawaii Equity and Diversity Initiative, and
• Hawai‘i Literary Arts Council.


The 4th Big Island Celebrate Reading Festival for readers and writers was held at Hawaii Preparatory Academy in Waimea, Hawai’i on April 21, 2012. It was open to all people from grades 6 to college and beyond ,and presented an opportunity for participants to speak with the featured authors:

• Gail Tsukiyama - Women of the Sill and The Street of a Thousand Blossoms
• Kate Elliott - Cold Magi
• Matthew Kaopio - Written in the Sky, Up Among the Stars
• Sue Cowing - You Will Call me Drog
• Mark Panek - Big Happiness
• Cathy Song - Picture Bride and School Figures
• Jon Osorio – storyteller

Mahalo to the Sponsors:

the Sidney Stern Memorial Trust,
Hawai’i Council for the Humanities
Equity and Diversity Initiative,
Hawai’i Literary Arts Council
Lehua Writing Project
Boone and Tamara Morrison
Hawaii Preparatory Academy
and other sponsors.

My Hawai‘i Story Project


PWC, in partnership with the Hawai‘i Conservation Alliance Foundation, the Hawai‘i Conservation Alliance, and the State of Hawai‘i's Coastal Zone Management Program (CZM), recently announced the names of 26 winning student writers who were selected for publication in the 2012 My Hawai‘i Anthology. Students in grades 6-8 across the state were invited to write a story, poem, song, or produce some artwork to reflect their thoughts and feelings about what makes Hawai‘i’s environment special to them. Now in its 6th year, this inspiring statewide creative writing program touches the lives of students who are budding writers and want to share their stories and passion for the environment. This year’s Anthology includes 20 stories and poems, 3 songs and 3 art pieces. The Anthology will be distributed to all elementary and middle school libraries state-wide. This year, 300 students from schools statewide shared with us their thoughts and impressions about our state’s natural world and the challenges we face. The 26 student winners will attend an Awards Ceremony at the Hawai‘i Conservation Conference on August 1, 2012, when they will be presented with certificates of achievement and prizes.

View Website >

PWC Writers in the Schools Program

Our Writers in the Schools Program continues to excite young writers. Halau Lokahi students continue writing, inspired by their teachers Mr. Kauwe (2nd Grade), Kumu Kehau Crawford and Kumu June Nagasawa. We have published several anthologies in
2011-2012 for different grades, which include art work by the children.l

Poi tastes so ono
I love poi when it’s fresh
It’s good to fill my empty stomach
The best poi comes from the kalo I pound
Pounding poi like my ancestors did before

By La’akela Miner, 2nd Grade, Halau Lokahi Public Charter School

Partner Schools
Halau Lokahi Public Charter School
Likelike Elementary School

Ma’ohi Writers from Tahiti

Flora Aurima Devatine, a Ma’ohi scholar and poet, read her poetry at a public reading, “Shillyshallying and daydreams of oral writing” sponsored by UH Center for Pacific Islands Studies on January 30, 2012 to a large audience . Flora was a participant in PWC’s cultural exchange with Tahitian writers for Varua Tupu in 2006.

Chantal Spitz, a Tahitian novelist and poet, also gave a presentation at the East-West Center on April 13, 2012, on Constructions of Identity sponsored by the UH Center for Pacific Islands Studies. She is the first Ma’ohi writer to publish a novel, Island of shattered Dreams (1991). She advocates against all forms of neo-colonialism that re- write history by perpetuating caricatures and clichés of her culture.

Native Voices Poetry Reading & Book Launch PWC partnered with the Native Voices poetry reading event held on December 15, 2011 at the Halau of Hawaiian Studies on the UH Manoa campus. The reading featured Hawaiian writer Imaikalani Kalahele, as well as Samoan writer Terisa Siagatonu, and Hawaiian writer Donovan Colleps. A new book from Ala Press, featuring poets from Kamehameha Schools was launched. Imaikalani Kalahele and Paul Robins from Wai’anae read at Native Voices reading event.

pwc pwc

Imaikalani Kalahele and Paul Robins from Wai’anae read at Native Voices reading event.