Authorʻs Picks with Noʻu Revilla, ʻŌiwi Poet, Performer, and Educator
Noʻu's Puke Punahele
Haunani-Kay Trask, Light in the Crevice Never Seen
This poetry collection called me back home from New York University, and “Sons” continues to give me sanctuary and strength. Haunani-Kay Trask was an unparalleled mentor who cultivated ʻŌiwi feminism and aloha ʻāina poetics. I was very lucky to be her student, and I am proud to teach her poetry as a creative writing professor. “When the Rain Comes” is a beautiful poem to recite when establishing writing communities and opening creative spaces.
Moses Manu, He Moolelo Kaao no Keaomelemele
(trans. Mary Kawena Pukui, ed. Puakea Nogelmeier)
I am moʻo on both sides of my family, and my forthcoming poetry collection celebrates my moʻo lineage. When I read Moses Manu’s description of Moʻoinanea and the procession of moʻo that covered the island, I wept. Tears of joy and gratitude: “ua pani paa loa ia e na moo.” This moʻolelo cultivated my ʻono for more empowering representations of moʻo in literature. "He Moolelo Kaao no Keaomelemele” was serialized in the Hawaiian language newspaper Ka Nupepa Kuokoa in the nineteenth century.
Brandy Nālani McDougall, The Salt-Wind / Ka Makani Paʻakai
Brandy Nālani McDougall showcases a powerhouse talent in her debut book of poems. Ka Makani Paʻakai features a rigorous command of poetic form, with sonnets, villanelles, and sestinas standing alongside free verse that actively incorporate ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi and moʻolelo. Brandy is another daughter of Maui and I admire her deeply. “Return to the Kula House,” “Ka ʻŌlelo,” and “The Salt-Wind of Waiheʻe” are poems I return to again and again.
Craig Santos Perez, from unincorporated territory
The work of Craig Santos Perez is essential reading, especially for those interested in contemporary Pacific Literature, eco-poetry, and decolonial poetics. There are two important things a poet learns when they read Craig’s work. One, the page is not another terra nullius; it is not a blank, passive space to be conquered. Also, and more importantly, we do not come to the page alone; we bring our ancestors, our histories, and our lands and waters.
Learn more about Noʻu Revilla at www.nourevilla.com.
Register for “Living Nations, Living Words.”
Sunday, October 23, 3:30 pm HST: HERE
For this discussion, Noʻu joins Hawai‘i-based poets including Brandy Nālani McDougall, Kanaka ʻŌiwi poet and Associate Professor of American Studies at UH Mānoa; Lehua M. Taitano, queer Chamoru writer and co-founder of Art 25: Art in the Twenty-fifth Century; and Mahealani Wendt, poet and community activist. The program moderator is Craig Santos Perez, Chamoru author and Professor of English at UH Mānoa.
Want to know more about these titles?