Ep. 116 Love in the Time of COVID-19

For the second episode of this themed call for materials, we are featuring Grace Iwashita-Taylor, Tess Patalano, M.G. Martin, Paolo Bicchieri, Craig Santos Perez, David S. Maduli, and Jen May Pastores + the music they chose to go with their work. And remember that this call for materials remains open for submissions (so if you get inspired listening to this magic, we hope you’ll send us what you’re writing!).


Grace Iwashita-Taylor, breathing bloodlines of Samoa, England, and Japan, born and raised in Aotearoa. An artist of upu/words led her to the world of performing arts, but poetry remains the constant lover. Dedicated to carving, elevating and holding spaces for storytellers of Te Moana nui a Kiwa. (NOTE: Grace would like to acknowledge her friends No’u & Aiko and Mama Alice Walker whose words are also woven into this poem.)

Born and raised in New York, Tess Patalano is a writer and teacher who has made Maui her home for the past four years. When she’s not dreaming on land, you can find her somewhere at sea, scuba diving or floating around. Her chapbook, What Happened, was published from Dancing Girl Press. A bunch of her writing lives online at tesspatalanowriter.weebly.com

M.G. Martin was born in California, grew up on the Big Island, and lives on Maui where he moonlights as a poet when he isn’t busy teaching middle school students how to develop thesis statements and talk about enjambment. He is the author of the forthcoming U U O U from Cyberwit Press and 2010’s One For None from Ink Press. You can follow M.G.’s poetry, fresh pasta making, and cute dog having exploits online @m.g.martin.

Paolo Bicchieri is a poet, journalist, and novelist living on the West Coast. His work has appeared with Nomadic Press, Quiet Lightning, Eater SF, Standart Magazine, and more. He can be found calling his family on Sundays. You can find him on Instagram and Twitter @paoloshmaolo. Paolo got connected to It’s Lit by former It’s Lit feature Kevin Dublin, whose work we first aired back in 2017 when we were on KTUH.

Craig Santos Perez is an indigenous Chamoru (Chamorro) from the Pacific Island of Guåhan (Guam). He is a poet, scholar, editor, publisher, essayist, critic, book reviewer, artist, environmentalist, political activist, and professor in the Department of English at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. His internationally recognized award-winning work includes two spoken word poetry albums and five books of poetry.

David S. Maduli is a father of two, veteran public school teacher, deejay, and author of the chapbook 00:33:33 (thirty-three and a third) (Zoetic Press, 2018). He was the 2011 recipient of the Joy Harjo Poetry Prize, and his work is most recently featured in The /tƐmz/ Review, ellipsis…, and sPARKLE & bLINK. Born in San Francisco and raised all over, he is a longtime resident of Oakland, CA. Twitter @dmadness / IG @djdmadness

Jen May Pastores is a documentary photographer and poet rooted in Hawaiʻi. Her background in journalism and creative writing led her down a path of storytelling: as a teacher, an exhibiting artist, and as a daughter collecting her family’s history. You can connect with her on Instagram @jenmay where she shares her love for the ocean, film, and her plant named Fina. During these strange times, she discovered her ironing board makes a great stand-up desk and that her love for words can hold new realities.


  1. LIT: Grace Teuila Taylor’s “MATALA x”
  2. “HZ15” Honzoh
  3. LIT: Tess Patalona’s “Newsflash”
  4. “God Only Knows” The Langley Schools Music Project
  5. LIT: M.G. Martin “A Large Mouth that Dissolves into Light”
  6. “Are You Feeling Sad?” Little Dragon
  7. LIT: Paolo Bicchieri’s “Once More for Pecos Bill”
  8. “The World Is Yours” Nas
  9. LIT: Craig Santos Perez’s “Contact Tracing” and “The Wish”
  10. Down for the Movement – Willa | Meta | dåko’ta (ARKiology EDUtainment) (song chosen by Bryan Kamaoli Kuwada)
  11. LIT: David S. Maduli’s “IMPERVIOUS POEM No. CV19-93-INF”
  12. “Fall In Love” Slum Village
  13. LIT: Jen May Pastores’s “Lei Hala”
  14. “Petal” Raveena


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