that’s Bamboo Ridge for you

Around one hundred people came to UH’s Campus Center Ballroom to hear stories from from issue 91. I suspect many of them came for Gerry Lopez, the surfer pictured on 91’s cover: before the reading, people waited patiently in a long line to get his autograph. He and Carlos Andrade presented their memories about Pakala and the early surfers who christened it "Infinity", while remembering the late Michael McPherson. Or, as Andrade put it, "over-the-hill longboarders – that’s me".

"Do you want me to read from the book or … "
"Do whatever you want."

According to Kealoha, that was the exchange between him and Darrell/Eric regarding the reading.

Brenda Kwon asked for the audience’s decision:
"I’ll let you decide: spoken word or prose?"
"Spoken word."
"Do you want to hear angry political or cultural sentimental?"

Kealoha and Brenda Kwon both gave searing performances of their work, Kealoha "dancing with circumstance" and Kwon firing up the room with "You can’t take away a woman’s fists / then punish her for using the things she’s got left, / like her words, / her feelings, / and her power of eternal memory".

Following them was Michael Little with his hilarious "Seven Ways to Tell If You Married a Cosmo Girl". The story is funny in print; even better when Little reads it.

The night ended with the three Editor’s Choice writers were Rachel Ana Brown for poetry, Christine Thomas for best new writer, and Peter Van Dyke for best prose.

For these writers and a lot more, pick up Issue #91! Bring it to the Hawaii Book and Music Festival on May 17th and 18th so that you can match the faces with the stories of various Bamboo Ridge-published authors. Also, bring your copy of any Michael Ondaatje book and hopefully get an autograph! (Can you tell that’s what I’m going to do?)

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