Brenda Kwon, an assistant professor of English at Honolulu Community College, has been named one of this yearʻs winners of the Elliott Cades Awards for Literature, the most prestigious literary honor in Hawai‘i.
The non-profit Hawai‘i Literary Arts Council, which is charged with administering the awards program, selected Kwon as its winner of the award for an emerging artist.Born and raised in Hawai’i, Brenda Kwon received her B.A. from USC in English and Creative Writing, and her Ph.D. from UCLA in American Literature. She is the author of
Born and raised in Hawai’i, Kwon received her B.A. from USC in English and Creative Writing, and her Ph.D. from UCLA in American Literature. She is the author of Beyond Ke’eaumoku: Koreans, Nationalism, and Local Culture in Hawai’i; co-editor of YOBO: Korean American Writing in Hawai’i; and The Sum of Breathing, which won Honorable Mention for the 2015 Ka Palapala Pookela awards. Her work has appeared in several journals and anthologies, and she has performed her poetry both nationally and internationally. A 2005 Fulbright Fellow, she resides in Honolulu, where she teaches English at Honolulu Community College and yoga at Open Space Yoga.
Another University of Hawaii, Susan Schultz received the award for an established artist.
Schultz has lived and taught in Hawai’i since 1990. She is author of several books of poetry and poetic prose, including Dementia Blog (2008), Memory Cards: 2010-2011 Series (2011), and “She’s Welcome to Her Disease”: Dementia Blog, Vol. 2 (2013) from Singing Horse Press. Her new book, Memory Cards: Thomas Traherne Series, is just out from Talisman Press. She is also a critic, an editor, and a publisher who founded Tinfish Press in 1995. Tinfish (tinfishpress.com) has published dozens of poets from Hawai’i and elsewhere in and around the Pacific over the past 20 years. For the past year and a half, she has curated the Tinfish/Na Mea Poetry Reading Series at Native Books.
Schultz and Kwon received their awards and read from this weekend at the 11th annual Hawai‘i Book & Music Festival.
The Cades Awards, given annually since 1988, were created by Charlotte and J. Russell Cades in memory of his brother, Elliott, a teacher and lover of literature. The awards come with a substantial cash prize for the winners.
The Hawai‘i Literary Arts Council was founded in 1974 to encourage and promote literature and literary activity of all sorts in Hawai‘i. Since then, many every literary activities in Hawai‘i — poetry and fiction readings, workshops, conferences, seminars – have been sponsored, co-sponsored, or promoted by HLAC.