Celebrating the “Wonderfully Subversive Power of Libraries and Librarians” as Robert Ji-Song Ku’s Dubious Gastronomy Wins APALA Literature Award for Adult Nonfiction

APALA-raffle_bracelet

One of the raffle items at the APALA awards dinner—a bracelet with mini book covers of the winning titles.

APALA-logoIn conjunction with the American Library Association annual conference in San Francisco, the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA) literary awards were presented at a lively dinner ceremony on Saturday, June 27. Dubious Gastronomy: The Cultural Politics of Eating Asian in the USA by Robert Ji-Song Ku, associate professor of Asian American studies at Binghamton University–SUNY, received the top honor in the adult nonfiction category. While Professor Ku regrettably was unable to attend the event, his prepared remarks were read by UH Press development director Colins Kawai, who accepted the award on his behalf. The speech is worth sharing here:

“It is a privilege and an honor to win the 2014-15 Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature in the adult non-fiction category. I am especially honored to receive this award from an association of librarians because, you see, I was practically raised by librarians since I was eight years old when my family immigrated to Hawaii from Korea in the early 1970s.

Ku-Dubious GastronomyHaving to work several jobs between them from before sunrise to long after sunset, my parents could not afford any sort of childcare, after-school programs, or summer camps for their three children. My mother’s solution was to drop us off at the public library for hours on end. And this is how I fell in love with books, which plunged me into the world of dinosaurs, great white sharks, and faraway galaxies. It also led me to C.S. Lewis’s Narnia, JRR Tolkien’s Middle-earth, Thomas Hardy’s Wessex, and Maxine Hong Kingston’s girlhood among ghosts, white tigers, and shamans.

I believe it was the filmmaker Michael Moore who said of librarians: “They are subversive. You think they’re just sitting there at the desk, all quiet and everything. They’re like plotting the revolution, man. I wouldn’t mess with them.”

Ku,RobertI couldn’t agree more. The fact that I went on to earn a PhD in English literature, become a professor of Asian American studies, and author books about Asian Americans is a testament to the wonderfully subversive and revolutionary power of libraries and librarians. No, I don’t mess with librarians; I give them props!

I thank the University of Hawai‘i Press for publishing my book, and especially my editor, Masako Ikeda, for believing in my book from the very get-go. I thank my family—my wife Nancy and twin boys Eliot and Oliver—for everything under and above the sun. But most of all, on this day, I thank the members of APALA for bestowing upon me this incredible honor.”

All of us at UHP join him in giving props to librarians everywhere!

Hawaiian Historical Society hosts UHP author John R. K. Clark

JohnClark
Author John R. K. Clark turns to the Hawaiian newspaper archives to create rich reference guides filled with primary resource accounts of places in Hawai’i — his latest title, North Shore Place Names, comes from a lifelong passion for surfing and fascination with Hawai’i’s home of legendary winter swells. This title is an important example of one of many transitions in research style for scholars of Hawai’i — please take a look at his Hawaiian Historical Society lecture by clicking on the image to the left.

His latest title, North Shore Place Names, can be found on our web store.

2015 Hawaii Book & Music Festival: UH Press Tent & Author Events

HBMF2015_event map_master_FINALUniversity of Hawai‘i Press will be among the publishers, booksellers, and nonprofits exhibiting at the 10th annual Hawai‘i Book and Music Festival this weekend, May 2–3, at the Frank F. Fasi Civic Grounds next to Honolulu Hale. Admission and parking are free. Go to the festival website to download a detailed schedule of events and PDF of the map shown above. Be sure to come by the UH Press tent, located near the Alana Pavilion (left side of the map, ‘ewa-mauka corner). We’ll have our latest Hawai‘i titles available for sale at a discount and will offer free U.S. shipping on any orders taken onsite.

Numerous UH Press authors will be participating in this yearly “celebration of story and song.” Some highlights to look for:

• UH Wahine volleyball coach Dave Shoji and journalist Ann Miller will talk about their collaboration in writing Wahine Volleyball: 40 Years Coaching Hawai‘i’s Team. (Saturday, 10 a.m.; signing at 11 a.m.)
John R. K. Clark, whose ninth UHP title, North Shore Place Names: Kahuku to Ka‘ena, received the 2015 Ka Palapala Po‘okela honorable mention in Hawaiian Language, Culture & History, will be on the “Hawaiian Sense of Place” panel. (Saturday, 11 a.m.; signing at 12 noon)
• UHM ethnic studies professor Jonathan Okamura will moderate the “From Race to Ethnicity” panel based on his book, From Race to Ethnicity: Interpreting Japanese American Experiences in Hawai‘i. (Saturday, 12 noon; signing at 1 p.m.)
• An entire session is devoted to the third volume in the Hawai‘inuiākea series, ‘Ike Ulana Lau Hala: The Vitality and Vibrancy of Lau Hala Weaving Traditions in Hawai‘i, with coeditor Lia O’Neill Keawe as moderator, and several contributors as panel speakers. (Saturday, 12 noon)
• Veteran journalist Denby Fawcett will be at the UHP booth to sign copies of her colorful and definitive book on O‘ahu’s iconic landmark, Secrets of Diamond Head: A History and Trail Guide. (Saturday, signing at 2 p.m.)
• Marine biologist and “Ocean Watch” columnist Susan Scott—called “a gifted speaker” during her recent Midwest tour—will present her newest title, Call Me Captain: A Memoir of a Woman at Sea. (Sunday, 11 a.m.; signing at 12 noon)
• Independent historian/researcher Dawn Duensing will give a unique perspective, accompanied by slides, on the theme of her just-published book, Hawai‘i’s Scenic Roads: Paving the Way for Tourism in the Islands. Previously a Maui resident, she is currently relocating from Australia to England. (Sunday, 2 p.m.; signing at 3 p.m.)
Sydney Iaukea, author of Keka‘a: The Making and Saving of North Beach West Maui, distributed by UHP for the North Beach–West Maui Benefit Fund, will moderate a panel on the book’s topic. (Sunday, 2 p.m.)
• MĀNOA journal editor Frank Stewart will host readings from the latest issue, Islands of Imagination, Volume One: Modern Indonesian Plays. (Sunday, 3 p.m.)

Authors will stop by the UHP booth throughout both days after their presentations for impromptu signings, so visit us often. Also check out our friends at Native Books/Nā Mea Hawai‘i and the Hawai‘i State Public Library System booths.

Happy 10th anniversary, HBMF—here’s hoping today’s gorgeous weather continues through the weekend!

2015 Ka Palapala Po‘okela Awards: UH Press Nominees

KaPalapala2015-inviteThe 22nd annual Ka Palapala Po‘okela Awards celebration is scheduled for Thursday, April 23, 6 to 9 p.m., at Imin Conference Center (Jefferson Hall) at the East-West Center, which adjoins University of Hawai‘i’s Mānoa campus. Hawaii News Now reporter/commentator Howard Dicus will again be the ceremony emcee. The awards are presented annually by Hawai‘i Book Publishers Association to honor Hawai‘i’s finest books and their authors, illustrators, designers, and publishers.

Titles with a 2014 copyright date were eligible for this year’s awards. UH Press has a wonderful group of nominees (listed alphabetically by author’s name):

North Shore Place Names: Ka‘ena to Kahuku, by John R. K. Clark
(Excellence in Hawaiian Language, Culture & History)

Ocean to Plate: Cooking Fish with Hawai‘i’s Kusuma Cooray, by Kusuma Cooray; designed by Mardee Melton
(Excellence in Cookbooks; Excellence in Design)

Hawaiian Plant Life: Vegetation and Flora, by Robert J. Gustafson, Derral R. Herbst, and Philip W. Rundel; designed by Mardee Melton
(Excellence in Illustrative or Photographic Books; Excellence in Natural Science; Excellence in Design)

‘Ike Ulana Lau Hala: The Vitality and Vibrancy of Lau Hala Weaving Traditions in Hawai‘i, edited by Lia O’Neill Keawe, Marsha MacDowell, and C. Kurt Dewhurst
(Excellence in Hawaiian Language, Culture & History)

Kua‘āina Kahiko: Life and Land in Ancient Kahikinui, Maui, by Patrick Vinton Kirch
(Excellence in Hawaiian Language, Culture & History; Excellence in Nonfiction)

Sovereign Sugar: Industry and Environment in Hawai‘i, by Carol A. MacLennan
(Excellence in Nonfiction)

From Race to Ethnicity: Interpreting Japanese American Experiences in Hawai‘i, by Jonathan Y. Okamura
(Excellence in Nonfiction)

I Ulu I Ka ‘Aina: Land, edited by Jonathan Osorio
(Excellence in Hawaiian Language, Culture & History)

The Watersmart Garden: 100 Great Plants for the Tropical Xeriscape, by Fred D. Rauch and Paul R. Weissich
(Excellence in Natural Science)

Local Story: The Massie-Kahahawai Case and the Culture of History, by John P. Rosa
(Excellence in Nonfiction)

Call Me Captain: A Memoir of a Woman at Sea, by Susan Scott
(Excellence in Nonfiction)

Wahine Volleyball: 40 Years Coaching Hawai‘i’s Team, by Dave Shoji with Ann Miller; designed by Julie Matsuo-Chun
(Excellence in Special-Interest Books; Excellence in Design)

Surfing Places, Surfboard Makers: Craft, Creativity, and Cultural Heritage in Hawai‘i, California, and Australia; by Andrew Warren and Chris Gibson
(Excellence in Special-Interest Books)

The Value of Hawai‘i 2: Ancestral Roots, Oceanic Visions; edited by Aiko Yamashiro and Noelani Goodyear-Kaʻōpua
(Excellence in Nonfiction)

In addition to the above UHP titles, ones distributed by UH Press were nominated by their respective publishers:

‘Io Lani: The Hawaiian Hawk; photographs by William S. Chillingworth with essays by John L. Culliney

Breaking the Silence: Lessons of Democracy and Social Justice from the World War II Honouliuli Internment and POW Camp in Hawai‘i, edited by Suzanne Falgout and Linda Nishigaya

Secrets of Diamond Head : A History and Trail Guide, by Denby Fawcett

Lihu‘e: Root and Branch of a Hawai‘i Town, by Pat L. Griffin

Keka‘a: The Making and Saving of North Beach West Maui, by Sydney Lehua Iaukea

Reflections of Honor: The Untold Story of a Nisei Spy, by Lorraine Ward and Katherine Erwin with Yoshinobu Oshiro

For a complete list of this year’s nominees, read the Hawaii Book Blog post.

Kudos and good wishes to all!

Spring Talks by Hawai‘i Authors

Wahine VolleyballThursday, March 19, 12 noon to 1:15 p.m.
UH women’s volleyball coach Dave Shoji and coauthor Ann Miller share the backstory of their collaboration on Wahine Volleyball: 40 Years Coaching Hawai‘i’s Team, at Kuykendall 410, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. Their talk is part of the Brown Bag Biography series sponsored by the Center for Biographical Research. UH Mānoa Bookstore will have books available for purchase and signing at the talk. For more information, click here for the event flyer. [Apologies for the late timing of this announcement.]
If you missed it earlier, read the terrific HONOLULU Magazine feature that ran in the November 2014 issue.
North Shore Place Names
Thursday, March 19, 7:30 p.m.
Author John R. K. Clark presents an illustrated lecture on the fascinating stories and historical nuggets from his newest book, North Shore Place Names: Kahuku to Ka‘ena. The free event is sponsored by the Hawaiian Historical Society but will take place at Kapi’olani Community College cafeteria (Hale ‘Ōhi’a). For details, including parking instructions, see the HHS description.
The March issue of Ka Wai Ola published an insightful story on how Clark researched his book using OHA’s Papakilo database of Hawaiian-language newspapers from the late nineteenth to mid-twentieth centuries.
Call Me CaptainSaturday, March 21, 2:00 to 3:30 p.m.
“Ocean Watch” columnist Susan Scott will be at the Ko‘olau Writers Workshop to conduct one of the sessions on creative nonfiction. She recently returned from a successful West Coast speaking tour for her newest book, Call Me Captain: A Memoir of a Woman at Sea.
If it’s too late to register for the workshop, check out the Sunday feature (this version ran later in the Mercury News) that resulted from her tour—it appeared not only in California but re-ran in dailies in Pennsylvania.