Literary collaboration about Massie case honored

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From left: Juliet S. Kono, Jean Yamasaki, Ann Inoshita, and Christy Passion

A Leeward Community College assistant professor was honored last month with the 2019 Ka Palapala Poʻokela honorable mention award for literature. Ann Inoshita, who teaches English composition at Leeward CC, co-authored What We Must Remember, along with Christy Passion, Juliet S. Kono and University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Professor Emerita Jean Yamasaki Toyama.

What we Must Remember book cover

What We Must Remember features 28 linked poems, followed by insightful commentary on each poem by its author. With an introduction and timeline of events by Massie scholar and UH Mānoa Associate Professor John P. Rosa, this special issue revisits the 1932 kidnapping and murder of Native Hawaiian prize fighter Joseph Kahahawai and the events surrounding it, commonly known as “The Massie Case.”

Bamboo Ridge Press wrote, “…each poet investigates, interrogates, and brings to light the racial, ethical, and moral complexities of one of Hawaiʻi’s most controversial criminal cases, the linked verses interwoven with factual detail to create a mosaic of emotional depth that explores the implications of the historical events that took place and that continue to reverberate today.”

The Hawaiʻi Book Publishers Association 2019 Ka Palapala Poʻokela awards recognized work published in 2017 and 2018. A total of 71 entries from 54 separate book projects were nominated in 11 categories.

“The college is extremely proud of this accomplishment,” said Chancellor Carlos Peñaloza. “It is inspiring for our students to see our faculty recognized for outstanding work in the field they teach.”