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painting of immigrants
Detail of The Farthest Shore, painting by Melissa Chimera

The University of Hawaiʻi’s annually published literary e-zine Vice-Versa has launched its 2020 issue, “The Anthropocene Epoch,” highlighting the current geological period, characterized by the influence of human civilization on Earth’s surface, atmosphere and oceans.

Guest-edited by Tom Gammarino and Eric Paul Shaffer, this issue showcases several writers who describe the harmful effects of human civilization on the planet and its inhabitants.

UH contributors include poet and fiction writer Angela Nishimoto, who teaches botany at Leeward Community College, and poet and English lecturer at UH West Oʻahu Jade Sunouchi. Other contributors are José Alcántara, Leanne Dunic, Joseph Harrington, Jordan Jones, Madeleine Slavick and Christina Torres.

nature painting
Stay, painting by Melissa Chimera

Artist and conservationist Melissa Chimera is also featured in the 2020 issue with an interview on her attempts to preserve Hawaiʻi ecosystems and her paintings of the endangered palila bird, the assimilation of immigrants in society and the presence of COVID-19 in our lives.

“There’s so much to do, and so little time, and we’re direly in need of the political will to institute the changes that will make the most difference,” said Gammarino and Shaffer. “If we fail to correct course, those humans who make it through the eye of the needle will surely look back and wonder what the hell we were thinking; at least they will have our artists to witness that not all of us were as deranged as the powers that were.”

About the editors

Gammarino is a novelist and fiction writer who received a Fulbright fellowship in creative writing and a doctorate from UH Mānoa. He is the 2014 recipient of the Elliot Cades Award for Literature and teaches literature and writing at Punahou School.

Shaffer is a poet who received the 2002 Cades Award, 2009 James M. Vaughan Award for Poetry, and 2006 and 2019 Ka Palapala Poʻokela Book Awards. He teaches writing and literature at Honolulu Community College.

Pat Matsueda is the founder of Vice-Versa and the managing editor of Mānoa: A Pacific Journal of International Writing. Her books of poetry and fiction have been published by El León Literary Arts (Berkeley, Calif.) and Mānoa Books (Honolulu).

To view the content and more details on the 2020 issue, visit the Vice-Versa website.

painting of palila bird
Noho Palila, painting by Melissa Chimera
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