BR Writers Read at AAAS National Conference

Bamboo Ridge Press welcomes the 2009 National Conference of the Association for Asian American Studies (AAAS) to Hawaii. Wed 04/22 to Sat 04/25.

The AAAS national conference, which is being held at the Hilton Waikiki Prince Kuhio Hotel from April 22 to 25, will include Bamboo Ridge writers who will read from their work and participate in various panels. AAAS will also honor Bamboo Ridge Press with a Community Service Award at its Awards Reception on Saturday, April 25, at 6:00 p.m. For a full listing of the conference schedule go to

Panels that feature Bamboo Ridge writers:

Try Hold da Pidgin: Is Pidgin Being Presshah-ed Out From Hawaiʻi Local Identity?
2:45 p.m., Territorial I Room (Panel W3) Lee Tonouchi, da intersection of local culture with hip-hop culture Kent Sakoda, da resurgance of da Hawaiian language and how dat affecks pidgin and local identity Ermile Hargrove, da hegemony of English In terms of stigmatize speech in da United States, Hawaiʻi Creole English a.k.a. Pidgin leads da way in legitimization efforts, but still stay competing wit oddah languages wit more cache. Pidgin experts going talk about new revolutionary efforts being made fo’ try hold onto Pidgin, as oppose to try hold off on da Pidgin.

Pilipino Kahit Saan, Kahit Kailan: Reimagining Filipino Identity in Literature 7:00 p.m. reception, 7:30 p.m. reading; Molokaʻi Room (Panel T50) Michelle Cruz Skinner, Excerpt from The Company of Strangers Amalia Bueno, Selected poetry and prose on Hawaiʻi Filipino family, culture and community Nancy Bulalacao, Filipina voice in performance poetry Floyd Cheung, Challenging visions of the Philippines in Jessica Hagedorn’s poetry and Marissa Roth’s photographs How is Filipino identity redefined in this age? How can writing help connect one to identity? What is unique to each writer and what is part of being Filipino? Lafcadio Hearn in 1883 reported the phenomenon of “a certain strange settlement of Malay fishermen—Tagalas from the Philippine Islands” living in the bayous of Louisiana. One hundred and twenty-six years later, this panel will present contemporary writing by women of Filipino ancestry.

New Directions in Hawaiian Writing
7:30 p.m., Territorial I Room (Panel T49) Elizabeth Kahikahealani Wight, Hapa haole Hawaiian identity Lee Cataluna, After the laughter subsides Lisa Linn Kanae, Anykine Hawaiians New writing by Hawaiian writers is still relatively scarce, and few have book-length publications. The notion that writing is not a cultural form may be a limiting factor, but three writers are adding their voices to the growing body of published literature: Kahi Wight, Lee Cataluna, and Lisa Linn Kanae. These authors, who will read selections from and discuss their works, give literary voice to a variety of issues on the minds of 21st century Hawaiians.

FRIDAY, APRIL 24, 2009
Gaman: Source of Strength or Suffering in Silence?
8:30 am, Territorial III Room (Panel F10) Micheline Soong, Chair Mavis Hara, Should we give up on gaman? Japanese women facing life crisis Gail Harada, Gaman—ideal stereotype, illusion?
Jean Toyama, To gaman or not?
Gaman is seen as a stereotypical Japanese trait that enabled many to endure great physical and emotional deprivation while immigrating to plantation jobs in Hawaiʻi and facing fierce anti-Japanese sentiment in post-Pearl Harbor-attacked America during WWII. Gaman can also be seen as a means of self-censorship to the point of refusing to acknowledge the pain and suffering one is experiencing in order to present a public face of normalcy. Three Japanese American writers in Hawaiʻi explore gaman as a source of strength or an alternative space for resistance.

FRIDAY, APRIL 24, 2009
Transpacific Remnants of War
7:30 pm, Kauaʻi Room (Panel F47)
Gayle K. Sato, Chair
Juliet S. Kono, Excerpts from Anshuu
Wing Tek Lum, Selections from the Nanjing Massacre poems Joe Tsujimoto, Excerpts from Morningside Heights What is the creative writer’s role in fostering tolerant and egalitarian race relations, where “race” includes not only US multi-racial cultural formations but also the racialization of atomic bomb survivors (hibakusha) within postwar Japan, and the racialization of one Asian nation by another, as in Japan’s enactment and the Nanjing Massacre? Hawaiʻi-based Asian American writers Juliet S. Kono, Wing Tek Lum, and Joe Tsujimoto will read from their works that contain elements of war.

Talking Story, Building a Writers Community 8:30 am, Territorial III Room (Panel S6) Marie M. Hara, Chair Stephen Sumida, University of Washington Arnold Hiura, The Hawaiʻi Herald What were the beginnings of the seminal Talk Story Conference? What are its strengths, weaknesses, and legacies today? The 1978 Talk Story Conference in Hawaiʻi spurred the recognition and development of a new generation of writers, especially those connected with Bamboo Ridge Press. This panel will explore literary concepts brought to light at the conference, such as the literary use of pidgin, forgotten genres like the haku mele, stories of the plantation era, the war in the Pacific, Hawaiian style humor, and non-standard interpretations of Asian American studies and identity.

Award Presentation to Bamboo Ridge Press 6:30 pm, Prince David Room AAAS will honor Bamboo Ridge Press with its 2009 Community Service Award. Introducing Bamboo Ridge on behalf of AAAS will be University of Washington professor Stephen H. Sumida. Board President Marie M. Hara and Co-Editor Eric Chock will receive the award on behalf of Bamboo Ridge Press.

Talk story

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