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With the work of more than 30 writers, this issue of BAMBOO RIDGE opens with the work of the Editors’ Choice Awards winners, Ahimsa Timoteo Bodhrán for poetry, Tyler Miranda for prose, and Janine Oshiro for new BR writer. Each will receive a $100 prize in addition to the author honorarium.
The award winners are followed by “Not Pau Yet,” a special section of selections from works in progress, excerpts from book-length manuscripts by Jeffrey Carroll, Lee Cataluna, J. Freen, Ann Inoshita, Juliet S. Kono, Alexei Melnick, and Kahikahealani Wight.
Featured artist in this issue is Fred H. Roster, professor of Art and Art History at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa. The veteran sculptor’s work has always been provocative, humorous, and inventive. A portfolio of his work is accompanied by an insightful article by Lisa A. Yoshihara, Director of the UH Art Gallery.
Also included in this anthology, new work by Juliet S. Kono, Wing Tek Lum, Joseph Stanton, Brenda Kwon, and Michael Little, as well as two intimate poems by Bamboo Ridge Press co-founder and poetry editor Eric Chock’s wife, Ghislaine D. Chock.
They cannot bite.
Neither can I net.
Nor gut their silver out.
They swivel as
they swim, the big ones
breaking the surface like
drills. The small
ones peek their tops
out in a row of winking
— from "Setting" by Janine Oshiro, Editors' Choice for New Bamboo Ridge Writer
After the hospital, they took me back to the halfway house. I thought
maybe was gonna turn out that I had to go jail or mental ward or something,
but I guess if you funny enough they never think you’re CRAZY-crazy and
drinking couple gallons pesticide you mistook for pineapple swipe ain’t
criminal enough to score one of the few available beds in prison. It’s almost
like a competition to get in. So, what you did? Sneak out and try get drunk?
Ah, that’s nothing. I got a guy here who did armed robbery at the old folks
nursing home during broad daylight afternoon bingo. Sorry, brah, you not
bad enough. You only Bad Lite.
— from "excerpt from 'Three Years on Doreen's Sofa'" by Lee Cataluna
rubbish from the mind
so words can go back
to where they were born years ago
in buses, school yards,
homes of others
— from "Release: excerpt from 'Catching Ashes'" by Ann Inoshita
This all started because Mrs. Tamaguchi said we had to write a
2,000-word story, and oh my God you should have heard the groans, but
not from me because if I’m going to be the next Emily Bronte and write a
long romantic novel that makes Oprah cry then I have to start somewhere.
I mean eighth grade is not too soon. I keep thinking that Emily died when
she was just thirty, which would give me only seventeen years to get on
Oprah, but I read where Emily lived in a bad climate, with lots of severe
weather, so I think I’ll have a longer career living in Hawai‘i.
— from "Pickles and Shawnilynn and Me at the Mall" by Michael Little
One night, a shuffling of something moving in the hallway wakes me
up. I get up, not wanting to. My feet are slick from sweat. I follow the shape,
moving when it moves, stopping when it stops. Dad. I wait in the hallway,
in the shadows, to see what’s going to happen. He reaches in the cupboard.
Peanut butter. Goes into the fridge. Jelly and bread.
His eyes are still shut but his breathing is in deep spurts. Reaches for a butter knife but can’t find one. Mom told me to put them all away. His hand curls like he is holding something though. I think to myself that it’s pretty cool he can open the jars while sleeping but opening the bread is another story.
— from "Peanut Butta Jelly" by Kenneth Quilantang, Jr.
Fiction writer Ian MacMillan was always a renegade when it came to
writing. Stubbornly independent, mentorless, and just plain lucky, he stuck
to his stylistic guns despite feedback from others—and encouraged new
writers to do the same. His motto: “I am in the mail, therefore I am.”
“If you have something you like, what’s the point of leaving it in a
drawer? The more you have in the mail the better your chances are. It’s
as simple as that,” stated MacMillan, who, when he died of cancer on
December 18, 2008, had been “in the mail” for over four decades.
— from "In the Mail: An Homage to Fiction Writer Ian MacMillan" by Julie Lynn Mitchell