Brown Bag Biography: Bamboo Ridge Oral History Project Panel

April 21, 12:00pm - 1:15pm
Mānoa Campus, Zoom

The Center for Biographical Research presents: / "Talking Story: A Panel on the Bamboo Ridge Oral History Project" / Eric Chock and Darrell Lum, founding editors / Juliet Kono, current editor-in-chief / Jean Toyama, past guest editor, lead on the Bamboo Ridge preservation project / Moderated by Donald Carriera Ching and Ken Tokuno / Cosponsored by Hamilton Library, the Spark M. Matsunaga Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution, Hui ʻĀina Pilipili: Native Hawaiian Initiative, the Hawaiʻinuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge, the School of Communications, the Center for Oral History, and the Department of Ethnic Studies / Thursday, April 21 at 12PM to 1:15PM (HST) on Zoom / Zoom Meeting ID: 981 9620 8507 / Password: 980287 / Meeting Link: / Nearly 45 years ago, in 1978, during a time of significant political and cultural change in Hawaiʻi and in America, Eric Chock and Darrell Lum founded Bamboo Ridge Press, Hawaiʻi’s oldest independent literary press, and the literary journal Bamboo Ridge. Since then, it has gone on to help establish what is often referred to as local literature and publish some of Hawaiʻi’s most acclaimed literary voices. Following the passing of Bamboo Ridge’s long-time president and acclaimed writer and literary advocate, Marie Hara, an oral history project was launched to document the history of the journal from those with first-hand knowledge of its inception and impact. Through this project, which is ongoing, the hope is to gain insight into an important time in Hawaiʻi’s literary history. In this panel discussion, the directors of the project along with the founding editors, current editor, and the director of the Bamboo Ridge preservation project will talk story about the project, the process, and some key takeaways. /. Darrell H. Y. Lum along with Eric Chock founded Bamboo Ridge Press in 1978. Lumʻs short stories and plays, often in Pidgin, document growing up in Hawaiʻi and contemporary local life. He served as a consultant for the Hawaiʻi Public Radio program, Aloha Shorts, which featured actors reading selections from Bamboo Ridge. He worked as an academic advisor at UH Mānoa serving low-income, first-generation college students for 35 years. / Jean Yamasaki Toyama started publishing poetry in Stephan Baciu’s Mele, International Newsletter in 1966. Through the years her stories and poems have appeared in Bamboo Ridge and Savant Poetry Anthologies. Her books include The Piano Tuner’s Wife, Prepositions, Kelli’s Hanauma Friends, and Wild Elephants. She is one of Bamboo Ridge’s Renshi Poets. To earn a living, she taught French at UH Mānoa and became Associate Dean of the College of Languages, Linguistics, and Literature. / Juliet Kono was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii. She taught English at Leeward Community College until her retirement. She lives in Honolulu and continues to write. She is the current editor of Bamboo Ridge. / Ken Tokuno is retired from the University of Hawai`i and has been working as a grant writer for Bamboo Ridge since 2019. Learning how to write poetry late in life at the University of Washington, he has published short stories and poetry in Bamboo Ridge, Seattle Review, The Bellowing Ark, and Blue Unicorn. His collection of poems, Orchard, was published in 2007. / Eric Chock was a poet in the Schools for 20 years, a founding co-editor of Bamboo Ridge Press in 1978, and a humanities professor at UH West O'ahu. / Donald Carreira Ching was born and raised in Kahaluʻu, on the island of Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi. His poetry and fiction have appeared in publications such as Rio Grande Review, NonBinary Review, and Every Day Fiction. In 2015, his debut novel, Between Sky and Sea: A Family's Struggle, was published by Bamboo Ridge Press. In 2018, he received the Elliot Cades Award for Literature, Emerging Writer, and in 2021, he was a finalist for the 2021 Rick DeMarinis Short Story Contest. /

Event Sponsor
Center for Biographical Research, Mānoa Campus

More Information
Zoë E. Sprott, (808) 956-3774,,

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