Mahalo nui loa to Kapili Naehu-Ramos for her permission to share her beautiful artwork in connection to this episode of It’s Lit!
We are so grateful to Noelani Goodyear-Kaʻōpua and Aiko Yamashiro of Nā Hua Ea for the invitation to feature on It’s Lit poetry for and inspired by this year’s July 19 event! This recording features a range of beautiful poets and the music that they’ve chosen to go with their work, including work by Noʻu Revilla, ʻIhilani Lasconia, Isabella Pasa, Uahikea Maile, Pua Heimuli, Jen May Pastores, and Aiko Yamashiro. The last three poems were written for Emalani Case’s poetry workshop that asked poets to begin their work by completing the phrases, “In a future that is . . . ” and “We wake up to . . . ” Enjoy!
Nā Hua Ea’s event description this year reads online as follows: In a time of COVID-19, #BlackLivesMatter, #CancelRIMPAC, #LāHoʻihoʻiEa, and one year since Puʻuhonua & arrests at Maunakea, we need each other more than ever. Even though we may be physically separate, how do we draw from the strength of the ʻāina on which we noho? The theme for Nā Hua Ea 2020 draws on the healing aspects of Kū, during this Kū season: “Kuehu, Kūola, Kūʻokoʻa.” (To stir up/clear of weeds/drive off, as evil spirits; To be alive and safe, as after escaping from danger; To be independent and free.)
Hosted by the multi-talented emcee Mehanaokala Hind. Part of the Lā Hoʻihoʻi Ea 2020 online series, organized by Lā Hoʻihoʻi Ea – Honolulu. With support from the Hawaiʻi Peoples’ Fund and the UH Mānoa’s Native Hawaiian Student Services office.
If you were unable to attend Nā Hua Ea or if you’d like to relive the magic, you can watch the recording of this event and be transformed 🙂
‘Ihilani Lasconia and Isabella Pasa are poetry fellows studying and writing with Noʻu Revilla in the ʻŌiwi Undergraduate Research Fellowship program, coordinated by Native Hawaiian Student Services at UH-Mānoa. For ten weeks, these three wāhine gather to write, workshop, and create poetry dedicated to aloha ʻāina, decolonial love, gender, and resistance in Hawaiʻi.
‘Ihilani Lasconia is an ʻŌiwi poet from Waimānalo, Oʻahu. She is currently a senior majoring in Ethnic Studies at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Over the course of the summer, Ihilani has been a part of the ʻŌiwi Undergraduate Research Fellowship under the mentorship of Noʻu Revilla, where she has been studying ʻŌiwi Poetics and decolonial love poetry.
Isabella Pasa is an ʻŌiwi poet from Kaʻalaea in Koʻolaupoko, Oʻahu. This fall, Isabella will become a junior double-majoring in Animal Science and English at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. During this summer, Isabella and her hui of ʻŌiwi Wāhine poets have taken on the kuleana to decolonize and reclaim love poetry for the Hawaiian lāhui. Her mentor Noʻukahauʻoli Revilla has led Isabella and her hoaaloha ʻIhilani Lasconia during this journey. Instagram: @isabubu_ Facebook: Isabella Pasa
Dr. Uahikea Maile (he/they) is a Kanaka Maoli scholar, activist, and practitioner from Maunawili, Oʻahu. He is an Assistant Professor of Indigenous Politics in the Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto. He’s currently working on a book manuscript, Nā Makana Ea: Settler Colonial Capitalism and the Gifts of Hawaiian Sovereignty, which examines the historical development and contemporary formation of settler colonial capitalism in Hawaiʻi and gifts of sovereignty that seek to overturn it by issuing responsibilities for balancing relationships with ʻāina. Once upon a time, Uahikea was a member of the ABQSlams Poetry Team who were semi-finalists at the 2013 National Poetry Slam. Twitter handle: @uahikea
Pua Heimuli: Aloha mai kākou, o Pua Heimuli koʻu ʻinoa. No Kahaluʻu, Oʻahu mai au. O Kalahaku kuʻu mauna. O Kawahaokamano kuʻu kai. Who I am is shaped by my home in Kahaluʻu where we as ʻohana continue to cultivate EA everyday. In return we’ve received gifts of abundance in ʻulu, kalo, pride in our place and steadfast Aloha for ʻĀina.
Leilani Manulanikauikawekiuipihamekalokomaikaʻiikeaonei Miller-Birkmire is a Portuguese/German/Irish/Scottish/Mediterranean creative from Pearl City, O’ahu, now living in Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas. Her career in marketing & communications allows her to fulfill her passion for writing and art. She spends her free time dancing/teaching hula, representing Indigenous people at local educational events, paddling with her outrigger canoe club, and supporting Ocean Conservancy and sacred land protection initiatives. You can find her on Facebook @leilani.birkmire, Instagram @manulanibirkmire, and Twitter @Manu_Leilani
Jen May Pastores is a documentary photographer and writer of Filipino descent with a deep love for Hawaiʻi. She was born in Guam, grew up living in different countries and cities, and now resides in Honolulu. Her background in journalism and creative writing led her down a path of storytelling where she explores connection and sense of place. She wants to extend a warm mahalo to the writing community for holding a supportive space, especially during these historic times when it’s the most important to reimagine and dream new futures. Instagram @jenmay or at jenmayphotography.com
Aiko Yamashiro loves to eat fish slowly off the bone. She is grateful to the waters of Kaʻalaea and Kawaihoa and Heʻeia, and all of the colors of the sky.
- LIT: ‘Ihilani Lasconia, Isabella Pasa, and Noʻu Revilla’s “Daughters”
- “Protect Maunakea” by Punahele
- LIT: ‘Ihilani Lasconia’s “Hulihia”
- “Us” by Ruby Ibarra
- LIT: Isabella Pasa’s “E ola nō i nā ʻŌiwi Wāhine o ka Pae ʻĀina o Hawaiʻi Nei”
- “Lovely Sunrise Haleakalā” sung by Concert Glee Women of Kamehameha 2018
- LIT: Uahikea Maile’s “Arlen”
- “I Am Not American” by Kāwika Aspili (ft. Kaʻikena Scanlan)
- LIT: Pua Heimuli
- Kimo Henderson Hula sung by George Helm (From Pua: my favorite part of this mele is 2:30-5:04. His story and what he stood for helped in leading us to find our EA and continue to Aloha ʻĀina. We’re fortunate he left his leo and mele to remind us of our Aloha to the land and each other.)
- LIT: Leilani Manulanikauikawekiuipihamekalokomaikaʻiikeaonei Miller-Birkmire
- “If We Hold Together” by Kealiʻi Reichel
- LIT: Jen May Pastores’s “The Future Is Possible” (check out the Freedom Zine for Lā Hoʻihoʻi Ea 2020, which you can read here.)
- “Couldn’t Take the Mana” covered by Maile; original song is by Mana Kaleilani Caceres
- LIT: Aiko Yamashiro
- “That’s How Strong My Love Is” by Otis Redding
- “The Spiritual Awakening of Orange and Lahaina” by Punahele