Ann Inoshita and Derek N. Otsuji headshots
Ann Inoshita and Derek N. Otsuji

Leeward Community College Assistant Professor Ann Inoshita and Honolulu CC Associate Professor Derek N. Otsuji have been named this year’s recipients of the Elliot Cades Awards for Literature, the most prestigious literary honor in Hawaiʻi. Inoshita’s award is for an established author and Otsuji’s is for an emerging author.

Ann Inoshita

Inoshita teaches English at Leeward CC, earned a master’s degree from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, and has been an active member of Hawaiʻi’s writing community. She is the author of Mānoa Stream, an acclaimed 2007 book of poems, and has been published in collections such as Random House’s Reel Verse (2019) that include many nationally-known poets.

Her pidgin poem “Japan Trip” was published this year in They Rise Like a Wave: An Anthology of Asian American Women Poets. Inoshita has also participated with other poets in several renshi (a form of collaborative poetry) projects, including No Choice but to Follow and What We Must Remember, in which each writer posts a poem constrained by the last line of the preceding poet’s poem.

Her works have been published in Bamboo Ridge, Journal of Hawaiʻi Literature and Arts, and Hawaiʻi Pacific Review. In 2016, Inoshita helped to create The Reading Room, a collection of recordings of local author interviews and readings.

Two people in a reading room
Host Ann Inoshita and guest Juliet S. Kono on set

Hawaiʻi literature has diverse voices rich in culture and language. It is an honor to receive this award,” Inoshita said.

She has also participated with other poets in several renshi (a form of collaborative poetry) projects, including No Choice but to Follow and What We Must Remember with poets Juliet S. Kono, Christy Passion, and Jean Yamasaki Toyama, in which each writer posts a poem constrained by the last line of the preceding poet’s poem.

Derek N. Otsuji

Born on Oʻahu, Otsuji teaches English at Honolulu CC and is the author of The Kitchen of Small Hours, a volume of poetry selected by Brian Turner as one of two winners in the Crab Orchard Poetry Series competition that was published last year by Southern Illinois University Press. He is a 2019 Tennessee Williams Scholar (Sewanee Writers’ Conference) and has received awards from Bread Loaf and the Kenyon Review.

His poems are widely published in local, national and international journals, including 32 Poems, Bamboo Ridge, The Beloit Poetry Journal, Bennington Review, Cincinnati Review, Crazyhorse, Pleiades, Rattle, The Southern Review and The Threepenny Review.

He won first place in the Eisteddfod Crown Competition, and studied writing with the late Welsh poet Leslie Norris.

More about the Cades awards

The Cades awards have been given annually since 1988. They were created by Charlotte and J. Russell Cades in memory of Elliot, a teacher and lover of literature. The awards include a cash prize for the winners. The awards were announced by the Hawaiʻi Literary Arts Council, and will be presented at 4 p.m. on October 1, as part of the 2022 Hawaiʻi Book and Music Festival.