1/31/18 Show: “There Is No Missile: False Alarms and Real Threats”

This week’s episode of It’s Lit features words and music responding to a special call for materials, titled “There Is No Missile: False Alarms and Real Threats.” Contributing writers include Kuʻuleimomi Cummings, Julia Katz, Prentis Hemphill, Shandhini Raidoo, Angeline Han, David Maduli, Hari Alluri, Joseph Han, Richard Hamasaki, Grace Taylor (and Darae!), Noʻu Revilla, and Jocelyn Ng.


In light of how many of us are still reeling from the 1/13 false alarm, PhDJ is inviting you to write for peace, to speak truth back to threats, for the January 31st episode of It’s Lit.

Many of you beautiful teachers have been writing with/to hold your students. I’d like to extend to you Lauren Nishimura’s excellent idea: to create texts in line with Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner’s so-powerful “Tell Them.” Questions that might guide/feed/spark your writing:

  • What does real peace look like–in our bodies, families, communities, oceans, and even between countries?
  • What stories do these moments wrench to the surface of our bodies?
  • What do we do with these stories now that they are eclipsing our vision?
  • How do we protect what we love?

Please also know that protecting what we love includes protecting language, so pieces responding to the recent Maui court case are also welcome (Judge Blaine Kobayashi issued an arrest warrant for Maui professor Samuel Kaleikoa Kaeo after he addressed the judge in Hawaiian, a warrant the judge later rescinded after declaring Kaeo “absent” even though he was standing right in front of Kobayashi simply because Kaeo was speaking Hawaiian). For those of us not genealogically connected to Hawai‘i and who benefit from and claim to love this place, this means standing against settler colonialism and allying with Kānaka Maoli who are being made to fight to speak their own language, even within their own homelands.


  1. Kuʻuleimomi Cummings’s “Time’s Up” paired with Sam Smith’s “One Day at a Time”
  2. Julia Katz’s “Clouds” paired with Morrisey’s “Every Day Is Like Sunday”
  3. Prentis Hemphill’s “Alert” paired with Laura Mvula’s “I Don’t Know What the Weather Will Be”
  4. Shandhini Raidoo’s “The Cost of a Thing” paired with Josh Ritter’s “The Temptation of Adam”
  5. Angeline Han’s lit paired with Jeon Inkwon’s “Jebal [Please]”
  6. David Maduli’s “Cover Your Eyes” paired with Joe Sample’s “In All My Wildest Dreams”
  7. Hari Alluri’s “Dear Phosphorescence” paired with Stromae’s “Ave Cesaria”
  8. Jocelyn Kapumealani Ng’s list poem paired with Teresia Teaiwa’s “Bad Coconuts”
  9. Joseph Han’s “300,000 Shamans”
  10. Richard Hamasaki’s “This Is Not Our Wasteland”
  11. Grace Taylor and Darae Kamali’s “The Ocean Is Not Your Playground” paired with Fat Freddy’s Drop’s “Hope”
  12. Noʻu Revilla’s “Tell Them” paired with Kealiʻi Reichel’s “E ō mai”



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