Book Pavilion: ReadAbility at Pac Rim


Book Pavilion
Monday, October 9, 2017 to Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Start Time: 

8:00 AM

End Time: 

9:00 PM
The Modern Honolulu

The first-ever literary showcase at Pac Rim brings together writers, artists and readers to celebrate storytelling, literacy and the creative spirit. Book Pavilion is a curated engagement of illuminating conversations at the intersections of disability, diversity and wordcraft.

In an intimate salon-style setting, story lovers will explore recent writing from award-winning, bestselling and emerging voices in fiction and nonfiction alike. Our lineup features author presentations; comic book panels; readings; oral storytelling and storytelling through visual art and film; script- and memoir writing workshops; and much more. 

Stories inspire and empower people of all abilities to share their visions and to use narrative to spark enlightened change. Spread the word!

How To Workshops

Book Pavilion is a parley to explore storytelling ideas, but it's also a classroom to exchange pragmatic instruction. Through supportive "How To" workshops, conference-goers will learn the essentials of the expressive arts and enhance their chances of publication. Topics range from drafting and submitting a professional article to creating dimensional fictional characters to penning a resonant memoir. Other sessions include a hands-on panel about comic books, a poetry writing masterclass and a literacy seminar. Led by bestselling authors and creatives as well as experts whose scholarly work appear in leading journals, sessions will address writing anxieties and habits and how to avoid common mistakes that scholarly writers make when submitting articles to journals. 

A snapshot of of one the Book Pavilion’s many panels!

Comic Book Cover: Mana Double Feature

Panel Discussion #1: Let’s Get Graphic

The pantheon of superheroes abounds in outsiders with different abilities. Whether literally or symbolically, themes of diversity and disability are intrinsic to comic book culture. How are characters of varied backgrounds and capacities represented in this popular genre? What goes into making their stories come to life? How can graphic arts and comics enhance your personal or professional communications? Join top talents of the Hawaiian Comic Book Alliance on a creative adventure and crack the secrets of sequential art.


Photo: Christopher Caravalho

Christopher Caravalho, Founder, Mana Comics; creator, Aumākua Guardians of Hawaii. Christopher Caravalho is an independent self-published comic book creator and founder of Mana Comics. He grew up on Oahu and is a full-time police officer for the Honolulu Police Department. In his free time he writes and draws comics. Mana Comics features heroes from Hawaii and celebrates cultural and ethnic diversity, which is a reflection of local life in Hawaii.

Photo: Stacey Hayashi

Stacey Hayashi, author/illustrator, Journey of Heroes. Stacey Hayashi is a Hawaii-based serial entrepreneur and founder of the successful PainaGirl family of websites, which includes Hawaiian Wedding Shop. A former software engineer before starting her own companies, Stacey is one of the earliest pioneers in the development of internet-based businesses focused on the manufacturing and distribution of Hawaiian products, and brings a formidable set of planning and operational skills to both her technology-based businesses as well as the multitude of social and advocacy enterprises that she devotes her time to. Her historically accurate manga Journey of Heroes, which she wrote and published in 2012, is internationally acclaimed, garnering media attention in the US, Japan, Italy and France. In addition to her manga, she has executive produced two films: a short narrative about Herb Yanamura, a Military Intelligence Service linguist, and a documentary about the Battle of Okinawa that screened at the Hawaii International Film Festival in 2015. She is currently screenwriter and executive producer for the unnamed 100th/442/MIS origins film project for the 442nd RCT Foundation.

Stacey is an expert on the 100th, 442nd and MIS veterans and has been a featured speaker at numerous events, book signings and venues. These include: the 100th Infantry Battalion anniversary banquet; the Joint Memorial Service (100th/442nd/MIS) at the Nisei Veterans Memorial Center (Maui); Seattle Nisei Veterans Memorial Hall for the Nisei Veterans Foundation; the Japanese American National Museum; Building 640 at the Presidio (MIS Museum part of the National Park Service); the Hawaii Army Museum; Bruyeres City Hall (France); Nagasaki University (Japan); the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii; and Living History Day-featured author at the Pacific Aviation Museum as well as many book signings at the Pacific Historic Sites Pearl Harbor Visitors Center.

Photo: Napua Ahina

Napua Ahina was born in Honolulu and spent a lot of time in the hospital when she was a kid. Even though she was too young to read, she used to buy Archie comics from the gift shop just to look at the art. Years later she finally read her first comic book, a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles TPB, from the public library. She became obsessed with comics (mostly Marvel Comics) and transformed into a full-fledged comic book geek... and even ended up having a superhero-themed wedding!

For 15 years Napua had a career in graphic design and web development. And in the last few years she started digital painting as a hobby just for fun. It was only because of the encouragement and support of Sam Campos that she was inspired to turn her hobby into a profession. She is currently coloring Pineapple Man's new graphic novel Old School Lock Up, does collaborative work with the Hawaiian Comic Book Alliance, provides flat colors for an award-winning comic series and was recently picked up by a small publisher on the mainland. 

Photo: Roy Chang

Moderated by Roy Chang, editorial cartoonist for MidWeek and author/illustrator of Aloha Pepe. Roy Chang is an art teacher, editorial cartoonist and freelance illustrator. He graduated with a BFA in Illustration from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco and earned his Masters in Education degree from the the University of Hawai'i at Manoa. He is also a two-time Pa'i Award-winning editorial cartoonist for MidWeek, Hawai'i s largest read non-daily newspaper.

Writing for Disability Studies: A Workshop with Journal Editors

Photo: Ally day

Journal editors Jay Dolmage (Canadian Journal of Disability Studies), Kim Nielsen and Ally Day (Disablity Studies Quarterly) will lead a 90-minute workshop on writing for peer review publications in Disability Studies. Participants are encouraged to bring an abstract and outline of a current project to workshop.

The workshop will begin with introductions from the editors and an overview of how journals work with authors from initial submission, through peer review and onto publication. Next the editors will present, in multiple formats, key strategies for writing for peer review.

In the second half of the session, participants will move into small break-out groups to workshop their own material, guided by the editors who will circulate among groups to provide suggestions and answer questions.

Learn more about this workshop

What's Your Story? Easy Recipes for Writing Memoirs with Jessica Fechtor

Photo: Jessica Fechtor

Jessica Fechtor is an author, blogger and PhD candidate in Jewish Literature at Harvard University, where she has received numerous awards for her research and teaching. 

Her bestselling memoir Stir: My Broken Brain and the Meals that Brought Me Home won the 2015 Living Now Book Award and drew critical acclaim from The Wall Street Journal, and The Forward, among other outlets. Fechtor writes the popular food blog, Sweet Amandine, and her writing has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and Tablet. She holds a B.A. in music from Columbia University, and Masters degrees in Jewish literature from Oxford and Harvard Universities. A resident of San Francisco, she has taught writing to adults and high school students around the country, and spoken at Harvard Medical School and the University of Hong Kong about the doctor-patient relationship.

Learn more about Jessica Fechtor

Into the Magic Shop: A Conversation with James Doty

Photo: James Doty

James R. Doty, M.D., FACS, FICS is a Clinical Professor of neurosurgery at Stanford University and founder and director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE), a part of the Stanford Institute of Neuro-Innovation and Translational Neurosciences. He is the New York Times bestselling author of Into the Magic Shop: A Neurosurgeon's Quest to Discover the Mysteries of the Brain and the Secrets of the Heart published by Penguin Random House in 2016. This award-winning book about the extraordinary things that can happen when we harness the power of both the brain and the heart has been translated in 19 languages.

Learn more about James Doty

How Artificial Intelligence Is Making Mental Health Care Smarter

With Dr. David Luxton, author of Artificial Intelligence in Behavioral and Mental Healthcare

David D. Luxton, PhD., technologist, psychologist and associate professor at the University of Washington, is a nationally recognized expert in behavioral health technologies and telemedicine. His new edited book Artificial Intelligence in Behavioral and Mental Health Care covers the exciting ways that artificial intelligence is transforming -- and will further transform -- how healthcare is provided. Topics covered include virtual care providers, predictive analytics and big data, affective sensing, intelligent wearables, smart rooms, robotics and much more. The practical and ethical issues associated with the use of AI in clinical care, clinical decision making, public health surveillance, and self-care are addressed. 

Photo: David Luxton

Dr. David Luxton’s research and writing are focused in the areas of technology-based psychological treatments, telehealth and emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) applications in mental health care. Much of his work has centered on telemental health with an emphasis on clinical best-practices. He has also conducted extensive research in the areas of military psychological health and suicide risk and prevention. Dr. Luxton is principal investigator or co-investigator on several federally funded clinical trials. He is a licensed clinical psychologist in Washington State.

Learn more about David Luxton

Art-book Salon

With Tom di Maria, author of The Creative Growth Book: From the Outside to the Inside: Artists with Disabilities Today

With four decades under its belt, The Creative Growth Center in Oakland, California is the world's largest art center for people with disabilities. First seen as people with disabilities and next as outsider artists, its talented community now enjoys flourishing careers as acclaimed contemporary artists, designers and fashionistas. Join the Center's director in an illustrated talk tracing the co-evolution of the disability rights movement and the expanded interest in self-taught art.

Masterclass: Documentary Scriptwriting with Todd and Jedd Wider

Crafting your story is an essential part of making a film, even a non-fiction one. Learn how at this insight-jammed workshop with Oscar-winning producers whose directorial debut God Knows Where I Am is a New York Times Critic's Pick. The Wider brothers will also dissect specific solutions to narrative challenges and offer strategies for writing and planning a doc.

Todd and Jedd Wider have produced numerous critically and commercially successful documentary features such as Alex Gibney's Academy-and Emmy Award-winning Taxi to the Dark Side, Emmy Award-nominated Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer and Emmy Award-winning Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God. Additional trophy magnets include Morgan Spurlock's What Would Jesus Buy? and Rachel Libert and Tony Hardmon's Emmy Award-nominated Semper Fi: Always Faithful, among many others.

Photo: Tom Wider

Todd Wider was a Columbia University trained plastic and reconstructive surgeon, focusing on cancer surgery. He was active in the passage of the Women's Health and Cancer Act of 1998, federal legislation signed into law by President Bill Clinton which mandated insurance coverage for breast cancer reconstruction, and was named for his patient. He also was a volunteer surgeon for Victims Services, an organization providing surgery to victims of abuse, and was a volunteer surgeon at Ground Zero after the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York City, where he helped establish the initial triage center. His social activism continues to galvanize others and to direct Wider Film Projects towards documentary work that can effect serious change.

Photo: Jedd Wider

Jedd Wider graduated from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and received his law degree from Tulane University School of Law. He is a partner at a prominent international law firm in New York, a Board Member of the not-for-profit New York Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts and a long-term supporter of Facing History in its fight against intolerance. Through his dedication to social issues and volunteer legal work, Jedd has assisted abused women, victimized children, evicted tenants in poverty stricken regions and elderly prisoners including those wrongfully convicted and victimized by racial discrimination. Jedd's knowledge and appreciation of the law and international legal systems along with his lifelong dedication to social justice has contributed a strong investigative approach to their films and helps to influence the selection and direction of subject matter for Wider Film Projects.


Frames of Mind: Images of Disability in Visual Storytelling

Monday, October 9, 1:10 - 2:10 pm

Photos: People with Disabilities and their Families

Murderous villain, inspiring hero, pitiable victim, vulnerable cypher -- stereotypes of people with cognitive and intellectual impairment have long plagued our flickering screens. Yet in recent years progress has been made in the popular media and in the culture at large. In our exploration we will consider current ads and movies that impart a sense of personal agency, emotional nuance and dimensionality to characters with limited mental functioning. How can casting choices, collaborative storytelling approaches and critical contextualizations help create accurate images of these lives? From cinematography to lighting to costume design, in what ways does the visual strategy credibly capture both limitation and empowerment? Glimpse what goes into making realistic representations of people with cognitive/intellectual disability that can change public attitudes and foster meaningful inclusion.

About the Speaker

Photo Laura Blum

Laura Blum is a curator, journalist and producer based in Manhattan. Laura has curated numerous film series, including a critically acclaimed Czech film retrospective at the Film Society of Lincoln Center. She covers movies and art for the Grumbacher arts site and writes a film blog at Her independent production credits include The Cry and Becoming Barack, and in her former position as head of film and TV development at Sony BMG Music Entertainment, she collaborated on music-themed documentaries from John Denver Remembered to P!nk in Europe. Laura co-edited Esther Perel's global bestseller Mating in Captivity and new book The State of Affairs, collaborated on the national bestseller The Thanksgiving Celebration and contributed to More Than a Movie: Ethics in Entertainment. She regularly speaks about film for universities, cinema clubs and festivals, including Wesleyan University, Talk Cinema and the Furman Film Series.

In her early career as political analyst, she spent nearly a decade writing and reporting in the Middle East, North Africa and France, including positions as author and researcher with The Center for Strategic and International Studies, Harvard University’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies and The Hebrew University’s Truman Institute. Laura holds an M.A. in Middle Eastern and International Affairs from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and a B.A. in History and Art Design from Duke University. She is fluent in French, Spanish and Hebrew, and proficient in Arabic.

How to Write about Art

About the Speaker

Photo: Ngahiraka Mason

Ngahiraka Mason was the curator of the recent Honolulu Biennial 2017. She is the former indigenous curator at Auckland Art Gallery (NZ) and a writer, educator, historian and trained fine artist.

Her career at New Zealand’s oldest and most prestigious art museum began in 1994, where she gathered experience working with European and New Zealand historical, modern and contemporary art, developing the institution’s art collections, acquisitions and commissioning of site specific contemporary art.

Ngahiraka has international biennial experience with the Noumea Biennial (2000) and the 2nd Auckland Triennial (2004). She has been an advisor to the Asian Society Museum on New Zealand and Pacific art, and contributed writings for the Andy Warhol Museum, Contemporary Commonwealth, National Gallery Victoria, Australia, the 17th Sydney Biennial, Australia and Sakahan, the National Gallery of Canada and for her New Zealand and international exhibitions. Ngahiraka is a community arts advocate, mentor to artists, speaker at conferences and a discussant at symposia. She is a Shibori practitioner and gives workshops on pickling jabong, mango, kumquat and eggplant. Ngahiraka is a permanent resident who loves Hawaii and has a soft spot for Hilo. In 2015 she and Noelle Kahanu were jurors of the annual exhibition, CONTACT, organized by the Pu'uhonua Society at the Honolulu Museum of Art School.

Visual Art of Shared Story: Creating Pathways Towards a Positive Future

Visual Literacy & Orality as Remarkable Tools for Creating in Community

Visual storytelling is a language used in this workshop, where use of an existing muralKuʻu ʻAina Aloha, Beloved Hawaiʻi— intends on inspiring participants in their work to visualize the future, 2025. Equal parts visual and oral, our workshop will explore the importance of iconography, setting contextual and historical knowledge as these relate to time and space, and each attendeeʻs orientation to the place they call home.

About the Workshop Leader

Photo: Meleanna Aluli Meyer

Meleanna Aluli Meyer comes from a well-respected, civic-minded family in the Hawaiian community. An honors graduate, Meleanna received her B.A. in design and photography, winning the Borelli Arts Prize from Stanford University ‘78. Her broad interests span cultural anthropology and linguistics to architecture, film and set design. An East West Center grantee, APAWLI and Salzberg Fellow, Meleanna has been able to lend her many talents to a wide range of arts and culture collaborations. Ms. Meyer is a practicing artist, educator and filmmaker, and has taught in a diverse range of educational settings both public and private, at the University level, in the charter schools, as an artist in residence and contractually as a consultant, as an arts/culture workshop leader and curriculum specialist. Community and social justice issues define much of the work she does.

Artist’s statement: I feel particularly sensitive to the animating energies that define us as people, through the places that we live, the relationships that we cultivate and the intersecting events of our lives. Each of us has a purpose, a kuleana, or responsibility that calls us to action. My desire is to bring voice not only to the work that is done, but to nurture and support those I work with, to reclaim their visions, stories and voices. Each of us has a story to tell, treasures to impart to others. The arts are the soul of us, as they are personal expressions and a visual representation of aspects of the divine. We must strive to kokua – support, stand as witness to one another in all that we do… This is a mission that compels me daily.

Telling Stories: Finding and Writing Your Stories

“When we tell our stories ourselves we are letting the world know we are here, we are to be valued, and expect--no, demand!--to take our rightful, equitable place in society just the way we are.” This is taken from my 2015 blog: “Why We Tell Stories,”

In my memoir Surprised to be Standing: A Spiritual Journey, I share my path of discovery from being a little boy in intense physical pain to a young adult who discovers disability rights and culture to an older adult who finds himself in the midst of spiritual exploration and searching for ways to combine all these aspects of one life. And the story continues. The purpose of this session is to assist you to find and write about your own stories. We will do this together through exercises, writing suggestions and practicing and having fun along the way.

One reviewer wrote “A quick read, because I found it too engrossing to put down, I felt I understood his pain, anguish, and ultimate liberation, not from the disability but from the beliefs and fears that had defined his experience previously. Sometimes raw, sometimes tender, Surprised to be Standing tells a story I won't soon forget.

Darrel Lynn Jones, author of Becoming MySelf: A Soul Journey with Chronic Illness and Disability

About the Session Leader

Photo: Steven E. Brown

Historian Steven E. Brown (PhD, University of Oklahoma, 1981) is co-founder of the Institute on Disability Culture and a retired professor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa's Center on Disability Studies, where he taught Disability Studies and is currently affiliate faculty. He served as a 2015 Diversity and Inclusion Fellow for the Association of University Centers on Excellence in Disabilities (AUCD) Diversity and Inclusion Toolkit Initiative, and continues to consult with AUCD. He also works with BCFS in San Antonio on their Emergency Management Division, providing disability expertise.

Brown encountered disability-based employment discrimination shortly after earning his doctorate, which led to changing his career path. In the 1980s, Brown worked at and directed an independent living center in Oklahoma, organized numerous community advocacy coalitions and represented regional Independent Living Centers in legislative education about the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act. In 1990, Brown moved to California to become Training Director at the World Institute on Disability (WID). In 1993, he received the first federal funding to research disability culture, which resulted in the monograph Investigating A Culture of Disability: Final Report.

Brown has published many articles about disability rights and is a national and international speaker. His books include Movie Stars and Sensuous Scars: Essays on the Journey from Disability Shame to Disability Pride (2003); Surprised to be Standing: A Spiritual Journey (2011); and Ed Roberts: Wheelchair Genius (2015), a middle grade biography of the late 20th-century disability rights pioneer. He is also a co-editor of the anthology Rethinking Disability: World Perspectives in Culture and Society (2016).

Brown relocated to the California Bay Area in summer 2014, after retiring from CDS. He continues to write, advocate, speak and teach (including via the University of Hawaii, an online course he created, which he has taught at both the undergraduate and graduate levels--and as far as he knows--is unique), called “Disability History and Culture: From Homer to Hip Hop.”

Brown’s work remains driven by the Institute on Disability Culture mission/vision: “Promoting pride in the history, activities and cultural identity of individuals with disabilities throughout the world.”

Brown blogs at and is on Twitter @disculture.

The Dementia Blog: Readings

Tuesday, October 10, 1:10 pm – 2:10 pm, Studio 1, MHCC

About the Writer

Photo: Susan Schultz

Susan Schultz has taught in the English department at UHM since 1990. She is the author of many books of poetry and poetic prose including most recently Dementia Blog (Singing Horse, 2008); Memory Cards 2010-2011 Series (Singing Horse, 2011); "She's Welcome to Her Disease": Dementia Blog, Vol. 2 (Singing Horse, 2014); Memory Cards: Thomas Traherne Series (Talisman, 2016) and the forthcoming Memory Cards: Simone Weil Series (Equipage, UK, 2017). She also writes literary criticism and publishes/edits Tinfish Press, which she founded in 1995. Susan lives in Ahuimanu and roots for the St. Louis Cardinals.

The Impossibly Thin Legs of My Racing Camels: Loving the Life and Writing the Book

Monday, October 9, 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm, Studio 1, MHCC

What a great combo for a book session--the art of writing and how to self publish as well as what makes this fine writer unique! Kathy Phillips will talk about how "odd" thin legs are "fine with the camels," just as her "odd bones" (a congenital slight deformity) are fine with her. She will discuss some "boons of bones" and some "odd frames" (religious or medical) that people sometimes try to apply. And! Dr. Phillips will talk about the 10 chapters with the tag "How to ______ Your Camel" (how to sing to, pack, talk to, track your camel, etc.), which are a guidebook how to write. These "how to" chapters are real tips this writer is glad to pass along, especially in an amusing format. 

Author Biography

Photo: Kathy Phillips

With a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Brown University, Kathy Phillips has published five books and 23 articles including Manipulating Masculinity: War and Gender in Modern British and American Literature (2006 and ppb 2010); This Isn't a Picture I'm Holding: Kuan Yin (2004); Virginia Woolf against Empire (1994); Dying Gods in Twentieth-Century Literature (1990); "Between the Third Sex and the Third Reich: Brecht's Early Plays"; "Jane Harrison and Modernism"; and "Exorcising Faustus from Africa: Wole Soyinka's The Road"; and an article in Asian Women (Summer 2010) about WWII. As a retired emerita professor, Dr. Phillips has been writing non-stop and has merrily published five more books herself, via Create Space on 

About the Book (one of many Dr. Philips has written): The Impossibly Thin Legs of My Racing Camels

Impossibly Thin Legs of My Racing Camels Book Cover

Camels have impossibly thin legs, but they’re fine with the camels. I have odd bones, a congenital deformity, but these bones are fine with me too. In addition to some autobiographical telling, the book offers the bigger wonder of bones and camels, drawn from research in science, history, Zen art and wars.

Not all readers have odd bones, but many may feel “different,” in real or imagined ways. For audiences interested in life-writing, there are humorous stories about other people’s odd reactions to my bones. For audiences who might be interested in how to write, all the chapters headed “How to Pack Your Camel,” “How to Sing to Your Camel,” etc. contain a kind of imbedded guidebook to writing. For history buffs and present-day citizens, the 10 entries for “Political Camel” link T. E. Lawrence’s WWI Imperial Camel Corps to our present-day wars in the Middle East. All the intermittent tags come together through a theme of reaching out: from forging links with friends to developing responsibility for a larger community.

Library Journal included my previous creative nonfiction The Moon in the Water (Vanderbilt UP) in their “Best Books of 2008”: “Like most really fine books, Phillips’s Moon almost defies description . . . By turns witty, compassionate, wise. Highly recommended” (May, Dec. 2008). The humor and the wonderment in that book also occur here.

Available on via Create Space at $9 paperback or $3 Kindle
ISBN-13: 978154476915, ISBN10: 15447696 1X

A talk with Victoria Nalani Kneubuhl

Tuesday, 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm

Photo: Victoria Nalani Kneubuhl

Victoria Nalani Kneubuhl is a well-known Honolulu playwright and author. She holds a Master’s degree in Drama and Theatre from the University of Hawai`i. Her plays have been performed in Hawai‘i and the continental United States and have toured to Britain, Asia and the Pacific. An anthology of her work, Hawai`i Nei: Island Plays, is available from the University of Hawai`i Press. Ms. Kneubuhl has written three mystery novels: Murder Casts a Shadow; Murder Leaves its Mark; and Murder Strikes a Pose. She was the writer and co-producer for the television series Biography Hawaii. In 1994, she was the recipient of the prestigious Hawai`i Award for Literature and in 2006 received the Eliot Cades Award for Literature.

A Talk with Kathleen Norris

Tuesday, 10:50 am – 11:50 am, Library

Photo: Kathleen Norris
Kathleen Norris is the award-winning poet, writer and author of The New York Times bestsellers The Cloister WalkAcedia & Me: A Marriage, Monks, and a Writer's LifeDakota: A Spiritual GeographyAmazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith; and The Virgin of Bennington. Exploring the spiritual life, her work is at once intimate and historical, rich in poetry and meditations, brimming with exasperation and reverence, deeply grounded in both nature and spirit, sometimes funny, and often provocative.

Kathleen has published seven books of poetry. Her first book of poems was entitled Falling Off and was the 1971 winner of the Big Table Younger Poets Award. Soon after, she settled down in her grandparents' home in Lemmon, South Dakota, where she lived with her husband, the poet David Dwyer, for over 25 years. The move was the inspiration for the first of her nonfiction books, the award-winning bestseller Dakota: A Spiritual Geography. It was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and was selected as one of the best books of the year by Library Journal. With Dakota, she creates in the reader an almost hypnotic awareness of being present in her day-to-day life.

In Lemmon, Kathleen joined the Presbyterian Church, where her grandmother had been a member for 60 years. When the church was between full-time pastors, members called on her to fill in, commenting, “You're a writer, you can preach.” In 1986 she became an oblate, or associate, of a Benedictine monastery, Assumption Abbey in North Dakota.  Subsequently, she spent two years in residence at the Ecumenical (now Collegeville) Institute at St. John’s Abbey in Collegeville, Minnesota. Her next book, The Cloister Walk, is structured as a diary of her monastic experience interspersed with meditations on virgin saints; Emily Dickinson; celibacy; loneliness; monogamy; and a hymnist of the early church, Ephrem of Syria. Some reviewers have compared her portrait of the world of the monastics to the writings of Thomas Merton. Her book Amazing Grace continues her theme that the spiritual world is rooted in the chaos of daily life. In this book, she sheds light on the very difficult theological concepts such as grace, repentance, dogma and faith. Her intention is to tell stories about these religious concepts by grounding them in the world in which we live.

Her book The Virgin of Bennington is a continuous narrative in which she shares the period of her life before Dakota. From her sheltered youth to her entrée into the New York art world, she describes the internal and external journey of an artistic young woman trying to find a place for herself amid the cultural tumult of the 1960’s and 70’s. Other books include Journey: New and Selected Poems and Little Girls in Church. Kathleen is the recipient of grants from the Bush and Guggenheim Foundations. Her book Acedia & Me: A Marriage, Monks, and a Writer's Life was published in September 2008 and was a New York Times bestseller. It is a study of acedia, the ancient word for the spiritual side of sloth. In it she examines the topic in the light of theology, psychology, monastic spirituality and her own experience. Kathleen also appears on the DVD and companion book project titled Embracing a Life of Meaning: Kathleen Norris on Discovering What Matters.

A Talk with Shawna Yang Ryan

Tuesday, 3:50 pm – 4;50 pm, Library, MHCC

Photo: Shawna Yang Ryan

Shawna Yang Ryan  is a former Fulbright scholar and the author of Water Ghosts (Penguin Press 2009) and Green Island (Knopf 2016). She teaches in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa. Her short fiction has appeared in ZYZZYVA, The Asian American Literary Review, Kartika Review and The Berkeley Fiction Review. She is the 2015 recipient of the Elliot Cades Emerging Writer award. Originally from California, she now lives in Honolulu.



About her latest Book


  • Penguin Random House International's first OneWorldOneBook title
  • An Amazon Best Book of February 2016 Pick
  • A March 2016 Indie Next Great Read

Green Island is a story of love, betrayal and family set against the backdrop of a changing Taiwan in the 20th century.

February 28, 1947—Trapped inside the family home amidst an uprising that has rocked Taipei, Dr. Tsai delivers his youngest daughter, the unnamed narrator of Green Island. In the following weeks, as the Chinese Nationalists act to crush the opposition, Dr. Tsai becomes one of the many thousands of people dragged away from their families and into prison. His return, after more than a decade, is marked by alienation from his loved ones and paranoia among his community—conflicts that loom over the growing bond he forms with his youngest daughter. Years later this troubled past follows her to the United States, where, as a mother and a wife, she too is forced to decide between right and what might save her family–-the same choice she witnessed her father make many years before.

In a story that sweeps across six decades and two continents, Green Island traces the course of Taiwan's history, from the end of Japanese colonial rule, to the decades under martial law, and finally to Taiwan’s transformation into a democracy. This lush, lyrical novel depicts a family and a nation grappling with the nuances of complicity and survival, raising the question: How far would you be willing to go for the ones you love? 

Standup Comedy and Disability: Art, Social Activism, or Pure Nonsense (or maybe a bit of all three!) with Nina G & Matthew Mock

Tuesday, 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm, Library, MHCC

After she makes you laugh from her performance, Nina G will make you think more critically about the role of standup comedy in decreasing stigma for people often socially marginalized. As a standup comedian who stutters and has learning disabilities, she will sit down with Dr. Matthew R. Mock to discuss the role standup comedy has played in her life, representation of people with disabilities and why the heck this engaging performance and dialogue is at the Book Pavilion. Come to enjoy, be fully engaged, and be inspired! 

About Nina G


Photo: Nina G

Nina G is the San Francisco Bay Area's favorite female stuttering standup comedian (granted she is the only one). She is also a disability activist, storyteller, children's book author and educator. She brings her humor to help people confront and understand social justice issues such as disability, diversity and equity. 

When she isn’t performing at comedy clubs like the San Francisco Punchline or the Laugh Factory, she is playing colleges and presenting as a keynote speaker to children with disabilities and training professionals. Nina is part of the comedy troupe The Comedians with Disabilities Act, which brings laughter and awareness to audiences of all ages across the country.    

She is the author of a children’s book titled Once Upon An Accommodation: A Book About Learning Disabilities, which helps children and adults advocate for their rights as a person with a disability. Nina's one-person show Going Beyond Inspirational is a comical exploration about growing up with learning and speech disabilities. It debuted in 2015 and was featured on CBS San Francisco Local.

How to Write a Compelling Blog: Masterclass with Amanda Stevens

What's your passion, and how can you harness it in a successful, sustainable blog? The blogosphere is yours for the taking if you can express your heart in an engaging and effective way. Glean tips on what makes a magnetic post, with a top "Frolic Hawaii" blogger and philanthropist whose credits include weekly columnist for Hawaii's largest newspaper. Gaining a voice through storytelling is important now more than ever.

Photo: Amanda Stevens

Amanda Stevens has a long-standing reputation for successfully bridging fashion and philanthropy. Her extensive professional experience includes procuring millions of dollars in grants for local non-profits, creating successful volunteer programs, working backstage during New York Fashion Week, producing high-profile fashion shows in Hawaii, guest lecturing at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, to being a weekly columnist for Hawaii's largest newspaper. She is currently the executive director at Susan G Komen Hawaii Breast Cancer Foundation, where she is on the front line to help underserved and underinsured women to get the help they need.

Book Pavilion Sponsors and supporters –- Book donors
NeuroTribes Book Front Cover
Avery will donate 20 copies of Steve Silberman’s Neurotribes.

Contact: Ally Bruschi,

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Memory's Last Breath Front Cover

Hachette Books will donate 20 copies of Gerda Saunders’ Memory's Last Breath: Field Notes on My Dementia

Contact Michael Barrs,

Alfred A. Knopf
Rober Lowell, Setting the river on fire book front cover

Alfred A. Knopf will donate 20 copies of Robert Lowell, Setting the River on Fire: A Study of Genius, Mania, and Character.

Contact: Michelle Tomassi,

Stir Book Front Cover

Plume will donate 20 copies of Jessica Fechtor’s Stir: My Broken Brain and the Meals That Brought Me Home

Contact: Alison Coolidge,

Roaring Book Press
Laughing at My Nightmare Book Cover

Roaring Book Press will donate 20 copies of Shane Burcaw's Laughing at My Nightmare

Contact: Shane Burcaw,

Lost at school Book Front Cover

Scribner will donate 20 copies of Ross W. Greene's Lost at School:  Why Our Kids with Behavioral Challenges are Falling Through the Cracks and How We Can Help Them

Contact: Josh Glickman,

Tarcher Perigee
Eyes wide open Book Front Cover

TarcherPerigee will donate 20 copies of Isaac Lidsky's Eyes Wide Open: Overcoming Obstacles and Recognizing Opportunities in a World That Can't See Clearly

Contact: Ashley D’Achille,