As part of the Why It Matters initiative, Hawaiʻi Council for the Humanities is presenting a series of 8 poetry workshops from February to April 2021 with community poetry leaders from across the islands of Hawaiʻi, which are free and open to the public. Fundamental to this program is the understanding that there is power in words and in the ways we communicate them. Amanda Gorman and her poem gave light to the 2021 US Presidential inauguration. Poetry can bring us to the heart of who we are and illuminate the paths we want to follow.
Hawaiʻi has a long and rich history with poetry. Poets like Imaikalani Kalahele, Dana Naone Hall, Juliet Kono, W. S. Merwin, Puanani Burgess, Haunani-Kay Trask, Joe Balaz, Garrett Hongo, Lois Ann Yamanaka, Eric Chock, Wayne Kaumaulii Westlake, Richard Hamasaki, Wing Tek Lum, Tony Quagliano, Lee Tonouchi, Cathy Song, and so many more.
Here are some of our guiding questions for these poetry workshops:
What does active and interested participation in civic engagement look like?
What makes a real impact?
How do we interact with local government processes?
How do we teach and learn this process?
How can we build and empower civic voice?