The keynote speaker for the 2014 Ko`olau Writers Workshop will be Kristiana Kahakauwila, author of the critically acclaimed collection of stories, This is Paradise. She will deliver a craft talk, and offer a workshop session at KWW on the Hawai`i Loa Campus on Saturday, April 12th 2014.
Kristiana Kahakauwila, a native Hawaiian, was raised in Southern California. She earned a master’s in fine arts from the University of Michigan and a bachelor’s degree in comparative literature from Princeton University.
She has worked as a writer and editor for Wine Spectator, Cigar Aficionado, and Highlights for Children magazines and taught English at Chaminade University in Honolulu. Currently, Kristiana is an assistant professor of creative writing at Western Washington University, where she teaches fiction and non-fiction writing, magazine editing and publishing, and Pacific literature.
This is Paradise has been chosen as a Barnes & Noble Summer 2013 selection of the Discover Great New Writers program as well as for the Target Emerging Author program. It has garnered praise from the Wall Street Journal, National Public Radio’s All Things Considered, the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, and O, The Oprah Magazine, among others. Novelist Lise Shea, reviewing the book for ELLE magazine, called it a “sparkling debut collection” and Susannah Meadows, in an enthusiastic review for The New York Times, said the collection “illuminates racial and class tensions and the guilt of leaving home for the mainland.” The stories in This is Paradise are focused on contemporary Hawai’i and indeed, through careful attention to the landscape of the islands and those who call it home, study race, class, and the paradise myth.