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Big Fish: Bamboo Ridge Issue #100

Big Fish: Bamboo Ridge Issue #100Big Fish: Bamboo Ridge Issue #100
Edited by Eric Chock & Darrell Lum
ISBN: 978-0-910043-86-1
280 pages




This landmark issue #100 celebrates work selected from the traditional mailed manuscripts with a 100-line limit as well as from the entries from the 100-word and 100-line online submissions. These limits were an attempt to squeeze in 100 authors but instead we chose 100 selections from 70 authors, so that we could include a posthumous tribute to Albert Saijo, a pioneering Beat Generation Asian American poet.

The featured artist is Grant Kagimoto of Cane Haul Road and his cover image is not only a tribute to the many “characters” who have contributed to our success but also alludes to an essay, “Waiting for the Big Fish: Recent Research in the Asian American Literature of Hawaii,” by Stephen Sumida in THE BEST OF BAMBOO RIDGE, published in 1981.
Ahimsa Timoteo Bodhrán, conceived in Niagara Falls, was born in 1974 on El Día de la Madre in the South Bronx to a multigenerational mixed-blood familia (Kanien´kehaka, Onodowaga, Puerto Rican, Irish, and German/Moroccan Jewish), and raised in Lenapehoking. He is the author of Antes y después del Bronx: Lenapehoking (New American Press) and editor of an international queer Indigenous issue of Yellow Medicine Review: A Journal of Indigenous Literature, Art, and Thought. An American Studies PhD candidate at Michigan State University, his prose and poetry appear in a hundred publications in Africa, the Américas, Asia, Australia, Europe, and the Pacific.

Sally-Jo Keala-o-Anuenue Bowman’s fiction and poetry have appeared in ‘Oiwi: A Native Hawaiian Journal, Hawai‘i Review, and the anthology Honolulu Stories. Her nonfiction books include The Heart of Being Hawaiian, a collection of her best profiles, essays, and articles. Her work has won several Pa‘i Awards from the Hawai‘i Publishers Association. She grew up in Kailua, O‘ahu, graduated from Kamehameha Schools and holds BA and MS degrees in journalism. She taught writing at the University of Oregon for 20 years and now coaches developing writers. She lives in Springfield, Oregon, with her husband, David Walp.

Amalia B. Bueno’s most recent poetry and short stories can be found in Tinfish 20, Bamboo Ridge Issue #98, and Walang Hiya: Literature Taking Risks Toward Liberatory Practice (Carayan Press). Her poetry chapbook, On King You Go Left, was published in 2010. When not eating, sleeping or writing, Amalia reinvents herself as a media relations consultant and poses as a graduate student at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa pursuing an MA in English.

Donald Carreira Ching was born and raised in Kahalu‘u. He received his BA in English from the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa and is pursuing his MA in Creative Writing. He recently completed his first novel, Between Sky and Sea, excerpted in Hawai‘i Review and Bamboo Ridge (Issue #98).

Lee Cataluna is a journalist, playwright, teacher, and the author of Three Years on Doreen's Sofa and Folks You Meet in Longs.

Ghislaine D. Chock: I try to communicate thoughts and feelings into woven textiles most of the time, and on occasion, I let special moments become poems.

Lifelong storyteller and avid people watcher, Doodie Cruz has published a play, Whose Nose Dat?, and had several of her songs recorded: “Sittin’ Around,” “Every Child a Promise,” “Where Are the Brothers?,” “Natives,” and “Sweet Child of Mine.” After years of major writer’s block, she will finally finish two plays and continue work on a collection of short stories about growing up in Palolo Housing. Doodie credits her patient, supportive, and sometimes unsuspecting and reticent family and friends for providing a lifetime of stories on which she bases many of her works.

Myles De Coito: You know da joke about all a etnic group an dea weapon of choice? Somebody get knife, one oddah get can beer, and you-know-who get microphone. You know da one, ah? How come none a dem had pen? Mahalo to my parents, Glenn and Estrella De Coito, and my siblings, Dawn and Scott De Coito. My home nurtured me with the greatest weapon of all: storytelling. To my wife, Elsa, and son, Sam, thank you for allowing me to swing da sucka all ovah da place! As not blood, as jess ink.

Jesse S. Fourmy: I spent a decade living, surfing and working on the Big Island of Hawai‘i. I was recently reassigned back to Southern California with the government. I can’t wait to return to the place where “I grew up.” Mahalo.

J. Freen lives on in Kalihi.

Norma W. Gorst writes poetry and short fiction. Her poetry chapbook, At the Edge of Speech, was published in 2005 and in 2006, she collaborated with Carol Catanzariti on the chapbook Seeking an Answer, a book of linked poems (both published by Finishing Line Press). Her poetry has appeared in Chelsea, Chaminade Literary Review, Cottonwood, Hawai‘i Review, Hawai‘i Pacific Review, and Kaimana, among others. “Rowan,” a short story, appeared in Bamboo Ridge (Issue #75) in 1999. She holds a John Unterecker Prize for Poetry from Chaminade University.

Marie M. Hara: In the era of Territorial Hawai‘i, I was a young child living on an isolated plantation. My grandparents, who were close to the end of life, tried to get me ready for the future. Loving them as I did, I wrote about them as soon as I knew how. Writing and books remain my great pleasure. In the late 1990s I found it difficult to give up the typewriter for the computer, even for emailing. I resisted the cell phone. But now I’m trying out the Kindle, blogs, cell phone photos/videos, and text messaging. Ojiji, Obaban, surprise! BRB

Gail N. Harada is a graduate of Stanford University and the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She lives and works in Honolulu.

Jim Harstad: What an honor to have my story in this landmark edition! Thank you Darrell and Eric and everybody in the family of angels that produces Bamboo Ridge. The next 100 editions will be even better, I’m sure, as the tradition grows stronger. (I’ll only be 96 by then, so I should be able to crank out another story for your consideration.) Again, thank you.

Cathy Kanoelani Ikeda lives in Hilo, Hawai‘i, but deep down she’s a Lahaina girl with the red-dirt-stained slippers to prove it. She has begun telling the story of her grandpa Peanut’s life. In January 2011, he turned 95.

Ann Inoshita was born and raised on O‘ahu. She co-authored No Choice but to Follow, a book and CD of linked poems, with three other poets, published by Bamboo Ridge Press. Kahuaomanoa Press published her book of poems, Manoa Stream. Her short play, Wea I Stay: A Play in Hawai‘i, was included in The Statehood Project performed by Kumu Kahua Theatre and published by Fat Ulu Productions. Mahalo Bamboo Ridge Press for publishing these fictional poems and for accomplishing so much for writers, readers, and literature.

David James’ second book, She Dances Like Mussolini, won the 2010 Next Generation Indie Book Award for poetry. His one-act plays have been produced from New York to California. He teaches at Oakland Community College in Michigan.

Darlene M. Javar’s poems have been published in Bamboo Ridge, Kaimana, Chaminade Literary Review, Tinfish, Hawai‘i Pacific Review, Earth’s Daughters, Storyboard 8, Into the Teeth of the Wind, The Distillery, and The East Hawaii Observer. Her poetry has been recorded by “Rural Voices Radio II,” National Writing Project, and Aloha Shorts, a co-production with Hawaii Public Radio and Bamboo Ridge Press. “Thank you, Bamboo Ridge, for your years of dedication to the voices of Hawai‘i. I am honored to be included in this 100th edition.”

Frances H. Kakugawa was recognized in Living Legacy: Outstanding Women of the 20th Century in Hawai‘i. Her books include Breaking the Silence: A Caregiver’s Voice; Sand Grains; White Ginger Blossom; Golden Spike; The Path of Butterflies; Mosaic Moon: Caregiving Through Poetry; Teacher, You Look Like A Horse! and award-winning children’s books, Wordsworth the Poet and Wordsworth Dances the Waltz. A leading advocate of the power of poetry in easing the burden of long-term family care, she resides in Sacramento and gives lectures and writing workshops throughout the U.S. Her two previous appearances in Bamboo Ridge were in Issues #9 and #98. Work in this issue is excerpted from the newly released Kapoho: Memoir of a Modern Pompeii.

Lisa Linn Kanae is the author of Islands Linked by Ocean and Sista Tongue. She is also the recipient of the 2009 Elliot Cades Emerging Writer Award.

Now retired from the DOE, Milton Kimura is contemplating a move to a large city on the mainland where he can better feed the addiction that Miss Halstead started nearly 50 years ago. While there is little chance that he’ll find another Price, he relishes the hunt.

Christine Kirk-Kuwaye has lived for most of her life on O‘ahu and for more than 20 years in Ka‘a‘awa. She continues to have a love-hate relationship with writing, especially her own. On a more positive note: as a result of years working with students at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa, she—along with colleagues and friends—shares lessons learned at, a site for parents and others who are interested in college students. She also continues to research the early territorial period of Hawai‘i, including eugenics, the Girl’s Industrial School, and the University of Hawai‘i.

Juliet S. Kono is the author of Anshu: Dark Sorrow, a novel published by Bamboo Ridge Press in 2010. She teaches at Leeward Community College and lives with her husband in Honolulu.

Brenda Kwon is a writer, language arts instructor, musician, and yoga teacher. She thanks her mother for allowing her to be all these things.

M. Jane Lambert graduated with a BA from the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa. Currently, she lives in Mililani, writing poetry and short fiction.

Mel Lau was born and raised in Kalihi. She is married to a great guy who completes her. They have two daughters who make them proud. Mel writes for fun, but secretly wishes, one day, that it will replace her day job.

Lanning C. Lee was born and raised in Honolulu. He attended the University Laboratory School beginning at age 3. Except for a few years attending the University of Wisconsin – Madison for his MA in English and working in the private sector, he has spent most of his life on the UH Manoa Campus, where he earned his BA and PhD in English. He currently works as a counselor for the UH Manoa KOKUA Program. “One Devil in Baggy Pants” is dedicated to his father, Staff Sergeant Henry C. Lee of the 82nd Airborne Division, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment (aka The Devils in Baggy Pants). “A New Lease” is written for Haruki Murakami.

Jeffrey Thomas Leong’s poems have appeared in Cimarron Review, Crab Orchard Review, Flyway: A Literary Review, Asian Pacific American Journal, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, nycBigCityLit, and other publications. He and his wife are parents of a precocious nine-year-old girl adopted from Jiangsu, China. Jeffrey has worked many years as a public health administrator and has degrees in Asian American Studies and law from UC Berkeley. In his poetry, Jeffrey seeks to explore the mysteries of gender, race, and family in a global, multicultural world, and within his Chinese-American ancestry. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

R. Zamora Linmark has authored two poetry collections, Prime Time Apparitions and The Evolution of a Sigh, both from Hanging Loose Press, and two novels, the best-selling Rolling The R’s, which he’s adapted for the stage, and the just-published Leche. He resides in Honolulu and Manila, and is at work on a novel and a play, But, Beautiful.

The perils of Walter Yamada continue. First seen dangling from the roof of his Kaimuki home on a stormy night (“Walter! Walter!”), then caught dreamcheating with Nicole Kidman and Winona Ryder in a Waikiki hotel room (“Walter and the Dream Girls”), and now this, wrestling with the annual angst of Valentine’s Day (“Walter Gets Romantic”). Michael Little is the author of Queen of the Rodeo (2001) and Chasing Cowboys (2009). His novel about Barbie’s escape from the dream house is aging quite nicely in a desk drawer. He has never been busted for dreamcheating with Winona Ryder.

Mary Lombard Mulder lives in lovely Kailua and, when not writing short stories, is volunteering at the best used bookstore in Honolulu—the Friends of Kailua Library Bookstore—or living it up with her canasta buddies. She is especially honored to be among the fine writers in this 100th edition of Bamboo Ridge.

Christina Low graduated with her MA in Creative Writing from the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa, where she teaches English. She also teaches at Kapi‘olani Community College. She has been published in Make/Shift Magazine, RipRap Journal, Muscle and Blood Magazine, ViceVersa Journal, and Hawai‘i Review.

Darrell Lum has served as co-editor of BR and general pain-in-the-ass since 1978.

Wing Tek Lum’s work in this issue is from his next collection of poetry, The Nanjing Massacre: Poems, scheduled to be released as Bamboo Ridge Issue #102 in 2012. Bamboo Ridge Press also published his first collection, Expounding the Doubtful Points, in 1987.

Christina Minami grew up in Honolulu and now lives in Chicago, IL.

Terri Nakamura, aka Aria Soyama / A. Soyama, like fo say tanks to her ohana, frenz and teachas fo she nothing witout dem. Props out to Bamboo Ridge fo da choke support and to da Albino Gorilla, fo his ginormous heart and mean cleaning skills.

Angela Nishimoto grew up on the windward side of O‘ahu. She teaches botany and biology at Leeward Community College. Angela lives in Honolulu with her husband, Andrew McCullough.

Carrie M. O’Connor is a fourth-generation native of Hawai‘i. After earning a Master of Arts degree at Marquette University, she made her home in Milwaukee, where she works as a writer and proofreader. Her recent work includes a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel opinion piece and an essay that aired on Milwaukee Public Radio. Her fiction has been published in Bamboo Ridge: Journal of Hawai‘i Literature and Arts, AUSCULT, Wild Violet, and Bartleby Snopes Literary Magazine.

In 1951, Shelley Ayame Nishimura Ota published Upon Their Shoulders, the first historical novel by a Japanese American. Her novel is recognized in the Encyclopedia of Japanese American History, by the National Endowment for the Arts, and the anthology Honolulu Stories. She was born in Waiakea in 1911, graduated from the University of Hawai‘i, and died in Hilo in 1987. Her second novel, Hawaiian Kaleidoscope, was never published because she lost her vision. After fifty years, her son, William T. Ota, a retired publisher and Harvard MBA, resurrected this historically significant manuscript. Bamboo Ridge is first to publish an excerpt.

Christy Passion: Following up on her first collaborative book of renshi (linked poetry), No Choice but to Follow, Christy is currently embarking on a focused renshi of the infamous Massie Trial. Her poetry has won both local and national awards and has most recently been published in Mauri Ola, ‘Oiwi, and Bamboo Ridge. She currently works at the Queen’s Medical Center as an RN in the surgical ICU while finishing up her Master’s degree to become a Clinical Nurse Specialist. Lifelong projects include not taking herself too seriously and meditating for longer than five minutes at a time.

Elmer Omar Pizo: Borrowing a line from the Bee Gees, “words are all I have…” and my most heartfelt thanks to Bamboo Ridge Press. Through the years you have produced/published anthologies that are succulent, delicious, and a good source of knowledge.

Mayumi Shimose Poe is the Managing Editor of American Anthropologist. Her fiction, essays, and poetry have appeared or are forthcoming in American Anthropologist, Bamboo Ridge, Dark Phrases, Drunken Boat, Eternal Portraits, Frontier Psychiatrist, Hawaii Women’s Journal, The Honolulu Advertiser, Hunger Mountain, Hybolics, Japan Subculture Research Center, the Phoenix, and Stepping Stones. She lives in Los Angeles.

Darlene Rodrigues descends from a long line of rice farmers, chance takers, and pineapple pickers. She heeds the words of her uncle and looks into the eyes of her cats everyday. Her poetry and essays have appeared in Amerasia, disOrient, Katipunan, and in the anthologies, Babaylan: Writings by Filipina and Filipina American Writers and Words Matter: Conversations with Asian American Writers.

Brian Rugen teaches in the Department of Languages and Applied Linguistics at Hawai‘i Pacific University. He grew up in Colorado and has spent the last ten years bouncing back and forth between Japan and Hawai‘i. According to his wife and daughter, he is now settled in Hawai‘i.

Laura Saijo has for thirty years been a teacher of music and high school and adult ed math and English. Her Ka‘u High music students this past year won first place in two statewide contests: one as the only neighbor island participant against twenty O‘ahu schools in a live competition, and the other for best music video of a student-written and arranged original song. Laura is a published writer and songwriter who also loves to garden, cook, and bake. She was married for thirty-three years to the poet Albert Saijo, who died this past June. She lives in Volcano Village in the last of four houses Albert designed and built for them in California and in Hawai‘i.

Jhoanna Calma Salazar was born in the Philippines, raised in Chicago, lived on Maui, O‘ahu, and in Italy. Her poem “after the doctors tell her . . .” is based on some true events and is part of the difficult process of sorting out faded memories, unanswered questions, and unyielding regrets that sometimes remain long after loss.

Salt is the name Nancy S. Young chose for her creative work. She is traveling with her husband for a few years while he does interim ministries for Unitarian Universalist Churches. They intend to return to their home up Kalihi Valley in another year or so. Her thoughts are often up Kalihi, especially at night when her poems come out in images from her dreams.

Normie Salvador received his BA in English with Highest Honors and MA in Creative Writing from the UH-Manoa. His work has appeared in literary journals, magazines, newspapers, on the Aloha Shorts radio program, and online. He has read at the university, community colleges, conferences, and coffee shops. Tinfish Press published Philter, his poetry chapbook, in 2003. Currently, he is a lecturer at Kapi‘olani Community College teaching English Composition and Creative Writing. During summer and winter breaks, he is a freelance editor for individual authors, presses, and publishers here, elsewhere, and online.

Misty Sanico is a writer and editor for Hawai‘i Book Blog, a local literary website devoted to Hawai‘i books and authors. As a resident of Honolulu, she is often found at author readings, trolling book sales, or hidden in the library. With a passion for books, reading, and writing, there is always a project to work on, a lesson to learn, or an adventure to be had. She also loves laulau.

Susan M. Schultz is editor of Tinfish Press, out of her Kane‘ohe home and her UHM office. She is author of several books of poetry & prose, including And Then Something Happened (Salt), Dementia Blog (Singing Horse, 2008), and Memory Cards: 2010-2011 Series (Singing Horse, 2011). She blogs at

Eric Paul Shaffer is author of five books of poetry, including Lahaina Noon and Portable Planet. His poetry appears in Ploughshares, Slate, North American Review, and The Sun Magazine; Australia’s Island and Quadrant; Canada’s CV2, Dalhousie Review, Event, and Fiddlehead; Éire’s Poetry Ireland Review and Southword Journal; England’s Stand and Magma; and New Zealand’s Poetry NZ and Takahe. Shaffer received the 2002 Elliot Cades Award, a 2006 Ka Palapala Po‘okela Book Award for Lahaina Noon, and the 2009 James M. Vaughan Award for Poetry. After ten years on Maui, he now lives on O‘ahu and teaches at Honolulu Community College.

John E. Simonds, a resident of Hawai‘i since the 1970s, is a retired Honolulu newspaper editor and author of Waves from a Time-Zoned Brain, a book of poems, published in 2009.

Sally Sorenson: I love writing fiction. After years of business publications, newsletters, and press releases, fiction allows me to stretch the truth in creative ways. “Mango Wars” might have been inspired by real people, but no interviews were conducted or fact-finding missions undertaken. I’ve been a member of the Aloha Chapter of Romance Writers of America for more than a decade. My short stories have appeared in several anthologies; non-fiction articles in the Honolulu newspaper(s).

Joseph Stanton’s books of poems are A Field Guide to the Wildlife of Suburban O‘ahu, Cardinal Points: Poems on St. Louis Cardinal Baseball, Imaginary Museum: Poems on Art, and What the Kite Thinks. He has published poems in Bamboo Ridge, Poetry, Harvard Review, Poetry East, New York Quarterly, and many other journals. His other sorts of books include Looking for Edward Gorey, A Hawai‘i Anthology, The Important Books: Children’s Picture Books as Art and Literature, and Stan Musial: A Biography. He is a Professor of Art History and American Studies at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa.

Carrie Y. Takahata has a BSW in Social Work and an MA in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing from the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa. She's currently employed as a legal secretary in San Francisco.

Moriso Teraoka: I am a student at Kapi‘olani Community College. I have come to realize that poetry writing is tasking but enjoyable. I have tossed ideas in my head for many hours of the day and was never able to put those ideas in writing. And yet, there are moments when ideas jell into words and before I know it, a poem is written. My recollection of my kid days resulted in “We Go Catch Frog.” “The Accordion” was memorable as I will never forget my relationship with the POW after World War II ended in Italy in 1945.

Bill Teter teaches high school English at the University Laboratory School in Honolulu.

Most recently, Mark Thiel’s work has been published in The Mid-American Review, Hawai‘i Pacific Review, Bamboo Ridge (Issue #98), and Hawai‘i Review, where he was awarded the 2011 Ian MacMillan Poetry Prize. He lives with his wife in Honolulu.

Delaina Thomas is a member of the Maui Ryukyu Culture Group.

Ken Tokuno has been writing and publishing poetry since 1986. He has published in Bamboo Ridge, Seattle Review, Hawai‘i Review, The Bellowing Ark, and several other magazines. Orchard, a collection of his poems, was published by the Bellowing Ark Press in 2007. He works at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa and lives in Kane‘ohe with his wife, artist Diane Nushida Tokuno.

“Da Pidgin Guerrilla” Lee A. Tonouchi is da writer of da award-winning book of Pidgin short stories Da Word (Bamboo Ridge, 2001); author of da Pidgin essay collection Living Pidgin: Contemplations on Pidgin Culture (Tinfish, 2002), compiler of Da Kine Dictionary: Da Hawai‘i Community Pidgin Dictionary Projeck (Bess, 2005), and editor of Buss Laugh: Stand Up Poetry from Hawai‘i (Bess, 2009). His latest book is Significant Moments in da Life of Oriental Faddah and Son: One Hawai‘i Okinawa Journal (Bess, 2011).

Jean Yamasaki Toyama is a poet, scholar, translator, and writer of fiction. Her latest publications include No Choice but to Follow, Kelli’s Hanauma Friends, and a selection of poems in Wavelengths: 2011 Savant Anthology of Poetry. “The Ant Massacre” comes from her yet-to-be-published collection, The Piano Tuner’s Wife. She lives in Hawai‘i where she was born and raised.

Joe Tsujimoto has published two teacher texts: Teaching Poetry Writing To Adolescents (NCTE/ERIC) and Lighting Fires: How the Passionate Teacher Engages Adolescent Writers (Heinemann). He has also published a collection of short fiction, Morningside Heights: New York Stories (Bamboo Ridge), which was a finalist for the 2010 William Saroyan International Prize for Writing. Winner of the 2008 Elliot Cades Award for Literature, Tsujimoto teaches 8th graders English at Punahou School.

Amy Uyematsu is so pleased to be included in this 100th issue of Bamboo Ridge. She is grateful for Bamboo Ridge’s support, going back to 1986, when the journal published “Sansei Line Dance.” Amy is a recent high school math teacher retiree and twice-lucky grandma (known as Gum Gum Amy).

Sylvia Watanabe, a third generation Asian settler, will never know any other home but Hawai‘i. For 25 years, she has been on temporary assignment in the American Mid-West—the last 15 as co-director of the creative writing program at Oberlin College. The excerpts in the current issue of Bamboo Ridge are taken from an ongoing project called Atomic Histories, a collection of lyric prose pieces about America’s legacy of nuclear colonialism in Asia and the Pacific.

Lois-Ann Yamanaka is the author of Behold the Many, Father of the Four Passages, Heads by Harry, Blu’s Hanging, Wild Meat and the Bully Burgers, Saturday Night at the Pahala Theatre, Name Me Nobody, and The Heart’s Language. She is currently at work on a young adult novel Bully Bastard and a novel The Mother Mary Stories. She is co-director of Na‘au: A Place for Learning, in Honolulu.

Kristel Yoneda was in high school when she started telling people she was a writer. Of course, she wasn’t really a writer back then. She was a socially awkward teenager who really loved daily journal writing in English and often scribbled lines of poetry in the margins of her Calculus homework (which did not give her extra credit). She believed, however, if she repeated it enough, some day it might feel true. A contributing writer for the Hawaii Women’s Journal, she was recently featured in the book It Gets Better, based on the YouTube sensation of the same name. She continues to tell people she's a writer, in hopes of it one day being true.

Beryl Allene Young graduated from Saint Andrew’s Priory in Honolulu in 1962 and studied English at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa, where she obtained her BA in 1966. She was awarded an MA in English in 1970 and earned an MLS in Library Studies in 1973. After teaching English composition at Kapi‘olani Community College in 1992, she nursed her mother through her final illness until 2008. Now, she writes poems in her spare time.