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Edited by Donald Carreira Ching and Misty Sanico
ISBN: 978-0-910043-96-0
152 pages


Issue #110 of


Guest editors: Donald Carreira Ching and Misty Sanico


Cover and interior artwork by Marques Hanalei Marzan

Artist profile by Lynn Cook

Bamboo Shoots online writing selections by:

Doreen E. Beyer
Jim Harstad
Scott K. Kikawa
Bill Teter
Kristel Yoneda

New work by:

Joe Balaz
Natalia Fernandez
Joseph Han
Marie Hara
Lisa Linn Kanae
Dawn Fraser Kawahara
Jeffrey Thomas Leong
Henry Wei Leung
Wing Tek Lum
Rajiv Mohabir
Shareen K. Murayama
Andrew Najberg
Lark Omura
Shandhini Raidoo
Normie Salvador
John E. Simonds
Helen Sina
Joseph Stanton
Bill Teter
Laurie Scott Tomchak
Joseph Tsujimoto
Lance Uyeda
Julia Wietung


Preview of issue #111


linked poetry by:

Christy Passion
Ann Inoshita
Juliet S. Kono
Jean Yamasaki Toyama

Joe Balaz writes in Hawaiian Islands Pidgin (Hawai‘i Creole English) and in American-English. He has also created works in visual poetry and music poetry.

Doreen E. Beyer was undifferentiated once. She has since then been transformed.

Lynn Cook: INK, those three letters pretty much define my work. Age seven, reading TALES OF THE SOUTH PACIFIC, I was illustrating my imagined island adventures with woodblock prints. Then writing in junior high, high school, and college newspapers—then the thrill of my first newspaper job. “You can use a Rolleiflex, right?” I thought, “Sure I can tell time.” What they gave me was a camera. I figured out how to point and shoot. Next stop, creating art inspired by a field of ancient petroglyphs that provide history and images for the next generations. Since that day I have been lucky enough to write about hula, chefs, art, music, faces, and places and Hawai‘i’s heroes—the modern voyagers like Marques Hanalei Marzan and Nainoa Thompson, who carry our history forward.

Natalia Fernandez is a fiction and television writer born and raised in Montevideo, Uruguay. Upon obtaining a Fulbright Scholarship in 2005, she moved to California to pursue an MFA. Since then, she has worked as a journalist and television writer. Her short fiction has appeared in several literary magazines and journals.

Joseph Han was born in Seoul, Korea and raised in Honolulu, Hawai‘i. He is the author of a poetry chapbook, ORPHAN (Tinfish Press, 2015). His recent work has appeared in the Asian American Writers’ Workshop’s THE MARGINS, THE FEMINIST WIRE, CONNOTATION PRESS, and MASCARA LITERARY REVIEW. He is currently the host of Mixing Innovative Arts, a monthly reading series in Honolulu, and is pursuing a PhD in English and Creative Writing at the University of Hawai?i-Manoa.

Marie Hara: By now each story has so much overgrowth that I cut back as I go. So many memories and stories return to me when I write fiction. I need to cull all the way through. By such attrition, like clearing out a small garden, I might be able to provide some memorable forms, the images of what’s left for your recognition and your enjoyment. Thank you to the reader as you follow this. I recognize the pure good luck of your attention.

Retired English teacher Jim Harstad continues to submit his scribbles to BR in hopes of shaming real writers (e.g. Darrell, Eric) back to their keyboards.

Ann Inoshita was born and raised on O‘ahu. She has a book of poems, MANOA STREAM (Kahuaomanoa Press), and she co-authored NO CHOICE BUT TO FOLLOW, a book and CD of linked poems (Bamboo Ridge Press). 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. Her creative works have been anthologized widely in local and international journals. She teaches at Leeward Community College.

Lisa Linn Kanae is the author of the short story collection ISLANDS LINKED BY OCEAN (Bamboo Ridge Press) and SISTA TONGUE (Tinfish Press), a memoir/essay which weaves the social history of Hawai‘i Creole English with personal experience. She is a recipient of the 2009 Elliot Cades Award for Literature.

Dawn Fraser Kawahara, a former Poet-in-the-Schools (Kaua‘i), produced her book of poetry and cultural information, BEHOLD KAUA‘I, MODERN DAYW—ANCIENT WAYW, as a love chant to her adopted home island. She authored the prize-winning JACKALS’ WEDDING, A MEMOIR OF A CHILDHOOD IN BRITISH INDIA (a chapter of which was chosen for pre-publication in BAMBOO RIDGE). Memoir II is soon to follow, BURMA BANYAN, A QUEST FOR ROOTS, under her TropicBird Press imprint. The writer currently pens a Monday guest column for THE GARDEN ISLAND news, “The Green Flash.” Dawn and her husband, a retired biology teacher, live in proximity to Nounou Mountain with birds and books.

Scott K. Kikkawa finds and interviews terrorists, organized criminals, and illegal organic farmers for a federal law enforcement agency by day and writes detective stories from his home in Hawai‘i Kai, O‘ahu’s cultural wasteland, by night. He maintains that a good Scotch whisky goes with any kind of food superbly, or with none at all.

Juliet S. Kono remains busy as ever. Wishes you all to be happy and well, kind and gentle, bright and strong (Metta Sutta).

Jeffrey Thomas Leong is a poet and writer, born in Southern California and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. For two decades, he worked as a public health administrator and attorney for the City of San Francisco. He recently earned an MFA in Writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts, and while there, began a project to translate the Chinese wall poems at the Angel Island Immigration Station. He is seeking a publisher for his manuscript, “Wild Geese Sorrow.” This poem is loosely based upon detainee interrogations at Angel Island. Jeff’s work has appeared in CRAB ORCHARD, CIMARRON REVIEW, HYPHEN, CHA, and SPILLWAY. He lives with his wife and daughter near Oakland, California.

Henry Wei Leung was raised in Palolo Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area. He is the author of PARADISE HUNGER (Swan Scythe, 2012) and the translator of PEI PEI THE MONKEY KING (Tinfish, 2016). He is the recipient of Kundiman, Soros, and Fulbright Fellowships, and recently the John Young Scholarship in the Arts.

Wing Tek Lum is a Honolulu businessman and poet. Bamboo Ridge Press has published his two collections of poetry, EXPOUNDING THE DOUBTFUL POINTS (1987) and THE NANJING MASSACRE: POEMS (2012).

Winner of 2015 AWP Intro Journal Award and the 2014 Intro Prize in Poetry by Four Way Books for his first full-length collection THE TAXIDERMIST’S CUT (2016), and recipient of a PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grant, Rajiv Mohabir received fellowships from The Home School, Voices of Our Nation’s Artist foundation, Kundiman, and the American Institute of Indian Studies language program. His second volume of poetry THE COWHERD’S SON won the 2015 Kundiman Prize and is forthcoming from Tupelo Press. He received his MFA in Poetry and Translation from at Queens College, CUNY where he was Editor in Chief of the OZONE PARK LITERARY JOURNAL. Currently he is pursuing a PhD in English from the University of Hawai‘i, where he teaches poetry and composition.

Shareen K. Murayama received her Master’s in Creative Writing at OSU’s Low-Residency Program. She has published poems in BAMBOO RIDGE, THE GAMBLER MAG, TOE GOOD POETRY, PHOEBE, and INTER|RUPTURE. In August 2015, Shareen was selected for the Home School, where she worked with Harriette Mullen. She was also awarded a National Endowment for Humanities grant to study Asian American Film and Literature in New York, attended a Spring Creek Project Collaborative Retreat in 2015, and was listed as a Fulbright Distinguished Educator Alternate for 2016.

Andrew Najberg teaches creative writing and other courses for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, where he serves as assistant director of the Meacham Writers’ Workshop. His chapbook of poems, Easy to Lose, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2007. His poems and prose have appeared in NORTH AMERICAN REVIEW, ARTFUL DODGE, LOUISVILLE REVIEW, CIMARRON REVIEW (forthcoming), NASHVILLE REVIEW, BAT CITY REVIEW, ISTANBUL REVIEW, and various other journals and anthologies.

Lark Omura hails from the island of Maui and currently resides in Oakland, California. Her writing seeks to explore the psyches of both locales, and the wide ocean between, contemplating the beauty of being human within the context of a capitalist society. She can be reached at

Christy Passion is a critical care nurse and poet. Her singular works have appeared in various local journals and anthologies, as well as in mainland and international journals such as CRAB CREEK REVIEW, HAIGHT ASHBURY LITERARY JOURNAL, BLUE COLLAR REVIEW, and MAURI OLA. She has received the James A. Vaughn Award for Poetry, the ATLANTA REVIEW International Merit Award, and the Academy of American Poetry Award. She co-authored NO CHOICE BUT TO FOLLOW and her début collection of poetry, STILL OUT OF PLACE, was published in 2016. She works and resides in Honolulu.

Shandhini Raidoo is an obstetrician-gynecologist and a family planning fellow at the University of Hawai‘i. She is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma, and has participated in Writing and Medicine workshops at the University of Iowa’s Carver College of Medicine.

Salt, the poet and sculptor, is Nancy S. Young. She and her husband live in the back of Kalihi Valley. They feel as if Kalihi Stream has joined their blood running through their veins with the sounds of bulbos, chickens, and geese.

Normie Salvador teaches composition and creative writing at Kapi‘olani Community College. Since 1990, he’s published his short fiction, poetry, and non-fiction essays and articles in assorted literary magazines, journals, and newspapers. In 2003, Tinfish Press published his poetry chapbook, PHILTER. In his spare time, he’s a freelance editor, Warhammer40K miniatures painter, and gardener.

John E. Simonds, 81, a retired Honolulu daily newspaper editor, has lived in Hawai‘i for more than 40 years and previously was a reporter for newspapers in Washington, D.C., and other mainland cities. Writing verse since the 1970s, he published two collections, WAVES FROM A TIME-ZONED BRAIN (AuthorHouse, 2009) and FOOTNOTES TO THE SUN (iUniverse, 2015). He lives in Aina Haina.

Retired English professor and college administrator at Kaua‘i Community College, Helen Sina continues writing and teaching violin and viola students. She attended Linfield College, Willamette University, Northwestern University, and the University of Oregon. She has previously published in AVOCET, PRAIRIE SCHOONER, THE SANDCUTTERS, and BAMBOO RIDGE.

Joseph Stanton has published five books of poems: THINGS SEEN, IMAGINARY MUSEUM: POMES ON ART, A FIELD GUIDE TO THE WILDLIFE OF SUBURBAN O‘AHU, CARDINAL POINTS, and WHAT THE KITE THINKS: A LINKED POEM (co-authored with Makoto Ooka, Wing Tek Lum, and Jean Toyama). His other sorts of books include LOOKING FOR EDWARD GOREY, THE IMPORTANT BOOKS, STAN MUSIAL: A BIOGRAPHY, and A HAWAI‘I ANTHOLOGY. His poems have appeared in POETRY, HARVARD REVIEW, NEW LETTERS, ANTIOCH REVIEW, POETRY EAST, BAMBOO RIDGE, NEW YORK QUARTERLY, and many other magazines. He is a Professor of Art History and American Studies at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa.

Bill Teter is still teaching English and coaching the speech and debate team at the University Laboratory School.

Laurie Scott Tomchak was born in Maryland, raised a Valley Girl (it’s a long day, living in Reseda) and since then has been freefalling from the Isle of Sark (where she studied the ancient patois) to Puerto Rico (where she taught French) and most recently to the Hawaiian Islands, where she raised two children and now lives in an empty nest in Kailua and teaches Spanish and Linguistics at Windward Community College, Literature and Cultural Studies at University of Hawai‘i at Manoa, and Freshman English at Hawai‘i Pacific University.

Jean Yamasaki Toyama is professor emerita of French and former Associate Dean of the College of Languages, Linguistics and Literature at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa. Her latest books include a volume of poetry, PREPOSITIONS, and one of short stories, THE PIANO TUNER’S WIF. She is a Beckett scholar.

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), was awarded the 2008 Elliot Cades Award for Literature, and was a finalist for the 2010 William Saroyan International Prize for Writing. He is a retired English teacher, open to tutoring and substitute teaching. In the meantime, he is pushing his collection of prose-poems called Four Gates.

Lance Uyeda teaches at Windward Community College and co- created its Heroes of Windward learning community. His work has appeared in AT LENGTH, PEOPLE, and ZYZZYVA.

Julia Wieting lives in Palolo Valley and is a doctoral candidate in English at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa, where she won the 2016 Academy of American Poets Prize. She publishes PARADISE REVIEW and has previously held editorial positions at HAWAI‘I REVIEW and VICE-VERSA. Her work has been published locally and internationally, with new work forthcoming locally in Summit.

Kristel Yoneda is full-time writer and part-time dreamer currently based in Los Angeles, California. She graduated with a BA from George Washington University and has been published in BAMBOO RIDGE, the HAWAII WOMEN’S JOURNAL, and in the book, IT GETS BETTER, based on the popular YouTube movement.


I grew up in a household that discouraged pidgin with frozen chili peppers, where I learned to swallow the words before the ice melted. Later, in high school, Ms. Fujii at Castle High passed out photocopies of THE BEST OF BAMBOO RIDGE, but I crumpled the pages up and kept my mouth shut. Or worse, spoke out with the same fiery condemnation that I had been taught years before. It wouldn’t be until much later, when I started to read Rodney Morales and Lois- Ann Yamanaka in college, when I heard Eric Chock read “Poem for George Helm: Aloha Week 1980” on ALOHA SHORTS, when I realized that there were stories about Hawai?i that differed from those perpetuated in Waikiki. It was then that I started to realize why Bamboo Ridge mattered so much. It was then that my tongue started to feel again.


We left when I was four and didn’t move back until I was thirteen. Growing up, pidgin was that funny thing my Dad spoke when we ran into other people from Hawai?i, or when he was telling us hanabata days stories. I wondered at the ease in which he could slip back and forth because pidgin always felt clumsy in my own mouth, like it didn’t belong to me. I loved it anyway—the words, the cadence. Hearing pidgin meant “home” and a way to cling to it. But stories about Hawai?i, they were my lifeline.

The first time I read an issue of BAMBOO RIDGE it was like home. I saw aspects of myself and the people and places I love reflected back to me in other people’s words, and realized the importance of perpetuating local literature.

Every issue of BAMBOO RIDGE is unique. This issue #110 was the first to accept electronic submissions. It was largely edited as a collaboration across one continent and two major oceans while Donald was living and writing abroad. Although it was a challenge, it came to symbolize the way that Bamboo Ridge’s audience is growing, and the way that regional literature, Hawai?i literature, can have a global impact.


This issue also stands out due to the mix of both emerging and established talent. Among familiar authors, you will find stories by writers who may have never been published in Bamboo Ridge before. As emerging authors ourselves, we feel that this is important. In addition, the list of contributors is diverse as are the themes throughout this issue. However, they were chosen because each provides a unique perspective and experience as well as insight into what local literature means today.


Our featured artist, Marques Hanalei Marzan, uses native plants and other natural elements to create mesmerizing pieces of art, sculpture, and fashion. Similar to the way writers twist and arrange words, his intricate weaving and knotting is transformative, bringing new meaning, form, and purpose to raw material.


Through his work, Marzan has found ways to weave traditional Native Hawaiian practices into the fabrics of modern art and design. His aesthetic tells his story as well as that of his families and his cultures, past and present. His pieces are deeply rooted in these things and in Hawai?i, and it is an honor to share his work in this issue.

We hope you enjoy these offerings. Mahalo for supporting Hawai?i literature and art.

Donald Carreira Ching
Misty-Lynn Sanico
The Honolulu Star-Advertiser Sunday Magazine, 4.30.17 (print version page 27)


Bamboo Ridge Press, $18

Founded in 1978, independent literary publisher Bamboo Ridge has long embedded works by local visual artists in its collections of poetry and fiction. In the latest installment of its annual anthology, the featured artist is Marques Hanalei Marzan, who works with animal and vegetable fiber and is also a fashion designer and Native Hawaiian cultural expert at Bishop Museum.

Marzan harvests natural materials — bamboo, hemp, cotton, makaloa, coconut sennit, pig gut — that he weaves, prints and ties in traditional ways, some learned from his grandmother, who wove lauhala. Pictured in a color portfolio, with a lovely introduction by Lynn Cook, his forms range from abstract sculptures to garments that evoke Issey Miyake. They complement the writing in this volume, which is themed around interwoven relationships and traditions, including several poems, such as Lisa Linn Kanae’s “Two Groundbreaking Ceremonies at Le‘ahi,” Joseph Han’s “While Her Husband Wandered Southern Seoul,” and Andrew Najberg’s “1st Island Fisherman Mending His Nets.”

Other highlights of this slender yet rewarding collection are stories by Marie Hara, Laurie Scott Tomchak and Rajiv Mohabir, and poems by John E. Simonds, Jeffrey Thomas Leong and Wing Tek Lum. It’s a keeper.