Last week was a ball. Five of us from Honolulu, the Renshi Gangstas (Julie invented the name) and Lisa Kanae, were joined by five from the Big Island to give a stimulating and fun reading. Sweet and strong. The "gangsters did what they usually do" and Lisa's presence made it even more fun. (We had a double-header with Lisa reading at Basically Books in the afternoon. Former students she hadn't seen for ages appeared out of the blue. Now, that's a testament to her teaching!)
Myles De Coito had a chance to pull out his "weapon" of choice and regale us with his dream; Darlene Java moved us with her powerful poems; Doodie Cruz helped me remember the loss of my own grandmother many years ago; Cathy Ikeda helped my remember similar struggles faced by my parents and the ritual of a Japanese funeral. And finally Laura Saigo helped us remember her late husband, Albert and how powerful his poetry still remains. And she made us think about the coqui frog in a different way.
I'd like to thank our friends on the Big Island who worked to make this evening possible: Miyoko,, Emma, Kanani, Joanne, Doodie (I hope I haven't forgotten anyone). Thank you Christine Reed from Basically Books for making the books available.
From crowd reaction I believe that the evening was much appreciated. There seems to be a thirst in Hilo for events like these.