Local Poet Being Honored At Saturday’s Koolau Writing Workshops

The 16th annual Koolau Writing Workshops are this Saturday on Hawaii Pacific University’s Hawaii Loa campus, where Kahaluu resident Cassandra Aoki will receive the 2013 James M. Vaughan Award for Poetry – and everyone else gets to learn how to become a better writer.


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Honoree Cassandra Aoki

The program will run from 8:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in HPU’s Cooke Academic Center, featuring award-winning writer Eric Paul Shaffer as guest speaker, and workshops on nonfiction, poetry, fiction and scriptwriting, plus continental breakfast and brown bag lunch.

Leading the workshops are noted writers Lisa Linn Kanae, Jaimie Gusman, Stuart Coleman, Tyler McMahon, No’u Revilla and more.

The Hawaii Literary Arts Council supports the event.

Aoki wins $250 cash for Chinatown, Honolulu, which will be published in HPU’s literary magazine, Hawaii Pacific Review. Married to Alan Hadama, she is retired from working at the UH Manoa office of students affairs, and has a master’s degree in higher education administration from UH.

On her Facebook page, Aoki has declared: “I enjoy writing poetry and short stories. Still looking for what I want to be when I grow up.”

Shaffer, a past winner of the Vaughan poetry prize as well as the Lorin Tarr Gill Poetry Competition, Elliot Cades Award for Literature and more, is assistant professor of literature and composition at Honolulu Community College. He’s been published in 11 poetry anthologies, 200 reviews and has a novel and two fiction chapbooks to his name.

The public is invited to sign up for a choice of two workshops, which run from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 3 p.m.

The keynote address starts at 9:30 a.m. Fee is $20 ($10 for students) and includes breakfast and lunchtime drinks. Fees will be accepted at the door.

For details and reservations, call Patrice Wilson at 544-1108 or Joan Ishaque at 544-0228.