“Over the land is April,/ Over my heart a rose”–Stevenson

After April’s M.I.A. Art & Literary Series event, which was a wonderful success (if you missed it, think cannibalism, a world with no feelings, nerding out on comic book hotties, powerful lyrics, and thought-provoking poetry) we were aching for May to roll around– but now that’s it’s finally here, the air is bittersweet.

We already know what’s going to be SWEET about May’s M.I.A. event:

1.) Jessica Wells, who is new to the M.I.A. stage and a disciple of Joy Harjo (we don’t bite Jessica!)

2.) Rich Rath, with his “geek chic” musical textures (his set up is called “the plumbing” by friends)

3.) Christina Low‘s too true stories (and they way she reads them!)

4.) Evan Nagle‘s genius in poetry and life and stuff (’nuff said)

5.) Chris McKinney who is Cades winner (wow!)  and visiting professor at UH (distinguished, of course)

Could we be any more excited?

And now the bitter news: This will be the last M.I.A. event of the season!

BUT never fear. We have new things in the works. That’s right.

One: We see a possible collaboration in the future, but this is in the wings.

Two: We are putting CALLS OUT FOR WORK for an M.I.A. Art & Literary Series Anthology. So if you’ve performed on stage at M.I.A. since its birth way back in October 2009 and you’d like to be anthologized, please submit your work to miaseries@gmail.com. Also, if you have pictures of any of the M.I.A. events that you would like to submit, please email us as well! This anthology will help us raise money so that we can keep on growing!

Three: If you’re interested in getting involved, performing in the future, or just want more info M.I.A. be sure to get in touch.

We hope to see you all there on Thursday, May 19th at Fresh Cafe–this truly is an amazing line-up and a great chance to kick off the summer with good friends (if you don’t have any, that’s okay, come to M.I.A. & make some!)  and good art (no pressure performers!) with good food & drink (via Fresh Cafe).

Ahoy!,

M.I.A.

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M.I.A. brings National Poetry Month to Honolulu

After a super successful venue move in March to the Fresh Café, we’re fully prepared to blow your minds with words for National Poetry Month. What is National Poetry Month, you ask? Well, The Academy of American Poets (who should know best!), say it began in 1996 and that it’s

a month-long, national celebration of poetry established by the Academy of American Poets. The concept is to widen the attention of individuals and the media—to the art of poetry, to living poets, to our complex poetic heritage, and to poetry books and journals of wide aesthetic range and concern. We hope to increase the visibility and availability of poetry in popular culture while acknowledging and celebrating poetry’s ability to sustain itself in the many places where it is practiced and appreciated.

We like this idea and for this special occasion we’re thrilled to be featuring two Kanaka Maoli poets, Brandy Nālani McDougall and David Keali’i, at this month’s event, as well as M. Thomas Gammarino, a fiction writer and master of words, and traci kato-kiriyama, our special guest performer coming all the way from California!

Brandy is the author of a poetry collection, The Salt-Wind, Ka Makani Paʻakai, published by Kuleana ʻŌiwi Press in 2008 and a chapbook, “Return to the Kula House.” When she’s not writing, you can find her teaching Hawaiian and Pacific Literatures at the Kamehameha Schools. Read Barbara Jane Reyes’s blog post on Brandy here.

In his poem “Revival” David Keali’i writes

What of the time I prayed out loud?
Called the names of Gods and kupuna;
felt the shiver run the length of
my spine, asked them to guide me.
Placed my life in their waiting hands.

Makes you shake a little, and in the good way, doesn’t it? Well get ready for more spine shivers when he reads at M.I.A. this month! Originally from Springfield, Massachusetts, David is currently pursuing his Masters of Library and Information Science at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa. His work has appeared in ʻŌiwi: A Native Hawaiian Journal, Yellow Medicine Review: International Queer Indigenous Issue, and Radius Lit. Read the rest of “Revival” here.

You may know M. Thomas Gammarino (known by his friends simply as “Tom”) as the author of Big in Japan by Chin Music Press. If you haven’t read this book, you can read about it here. Although he’s a “fiction” writer, and this is technically “National Poetry Month” after all, I think we can all agree that Tom has a serious and poetic handle of language and lucky for us, he has “at least” one other book in him. We are so happy that he’s agreed (without torture) to return to read at M.I.A. and read this month, and we can’t wait to hear what he’s been working on!

traci kato-kiriyama, our mainland guest, is a multi-disciplinary performance artist and author of a book of poetry called ‘signaling’. She is the founder/director of a 13 year-old art+community series in Downtown Los Angeles called the Tuesday Night Café (something for M.I.A. to aspire to!) and is co-instructor for Asian American Voices at Pitzer College. She travels all over giving talks and performances, and we are bubbling over with joy that she will be at M.I.A. this month. She will be also giving a workshop and discussion at the University of Hawaii the day of M.I.A. (Thursday, April 21st) in Kuykendall 410 at Noon called “No Such Thing As Writer’s Block”—so make sure to check that out too! Her website is here, if you want to know more.

Walt Whitman said, “To have great poets there must be great audiences too.” So let’s make this M.I.A. the biggest and best event yet!

Spring Cleaning: M.I.A. gets a Makeover this March!

We’ve cleaned out our closets and shaken out our sheets, meaning more space for more bodies!

Okay, that may sound a little morbid, but what we’re trying to say is that the M.I.A. Art & Literary Series has been a such a huge success since its launch into the Honolulu Art Scene in October of 2009 that we need more room! So we are moving to the spacious Fresh Cafe where the stage is large, the space is wide, the food is gourmet, and the bar is open for business.  This venue, if you’ve never been, hosts great events like Art & Flea, Fresh Market, Girl Fest Hawaii, First Thursday Hawaii Slam, IYFI, and more!

Outside of the Fresh Cafe

So what’s different about M.I.A. these days, besides Fresh Cafe?

DATE: Instead of the second Wednesday of every month, we are now on the THIRD THURSDAY of every month (making the next event March 17th, on St. Patty’s Day)

TIME: We will be starting at 7:45 pm, but get to Fresh Cafe a little early so you can snag a seat, a drink, and a delish sandwich.

AGE: That’s right! You no longer have to be 21+ to see the amazing performers at M.I.A. events. The show is all ages which opens up tons of doors for both audience and performers. We welcome you, no matter how young or old you look–but bring your ID so that we can stamp you appropriately at the door.

SUGGESTED DONATIONS: M.I.A. will always be free. However, as we grow, we need more funds to advertise for our events as well as work towards bringing in people from areas outside of Honolulu. Donations go to PR, advertising, honorariums, and so on. So our policy is PAY WHAT YOU CAN. If this means throwing us a couple bucks every now and then, cool. If you can give more than that, no one is going to stop you either. So be generous if you can, but no pressure. If every guest paid $1, M.I.A.  would be thrilled. So thrill us please. We dare you.

With all these great changes, what’s the same?

Fabulous Performances, great drinks, and a damn good time!

Dawn Sueoka is a stellar poet and avid M.I.A. attendee. We are so happy that she will grace the stage with with her verse! Check out her style here.

This month we have  Janine Oshiro (her book, Pier is coming out by Alice James Books) who will read her stunning poetry. Get a preview of her work here, and read a great interview here!

When she isn’t working, studying, teaching, sleeping, or killing vampires, you can find Rachel Wolf writing fantastic fiction. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to hear Rachel read new work!

Your hosts for the night will be In Yo Face Improv, bringing the funny to the stage.

We hope you’ll all make it to our new location on March 17th at 7:45 PM at the Fresh Cafe.

Love,

The M.I.A. Art & Literary Series

F-E-B-R-U-A-R-Y: a literary combustion

There may be ice storms and riots taking over a good portion of the world, but here in Honolulu we are stirring up our own chaos, thank you very much. The M.I.A. Art & Literary Series works hard at mixing things up & around, so this month we are thrilled to bring you another collaboration:

Hawaii Review meet Tinfish Press, Tinfish Press meet Hawaii Review.

These two local presses are powerhouses in the literary landscape of Oahu and way beyond waters.

On their website, Tinfish Press states, “We publish work from the Pacific region, concentrating on language issues, colonialism, Buddhism, place, and poetic form. Above all, we seek to create alliances between writers whose work crosses national and aesthetic borders.” If you have not yet viewed one of their lovely books or journals, be sure to snag something at the M.I.A. February event.

“Founded in 1973, Hawai’i Review is a student run bi-annual literary journal featuring national, international, as well as regional literature of Hawai’i and the Pacific,” and as current poetry editor I can vouch for the quality work in the new issue, 73, which you can purchase at M.I.A. To find out more about the Hawaii Review click here.

Readers for this month’s event include poets, fiction writers, and non-fiction writers from publications Tinfish 20 & Hawaii Review 73:

Amalia Bueno
Donovan Colleps
Peter Forman
Jaimie Gusman
Christina Low
Jade Sunouchi
Craig Santos Perez
Tiare Picard
Joe Tsujimoto

If you have not heard these masters of craft before, please do stop by the Mercury bar on February 9th, at 7:30 PM. Bring cash if you would like to purchase some journals & books (they make great Valentines, yes sir!). Hope to see you all there!

Feeling Nostalgic for January’s Event Already?

A big shout out and thank you to MALIA LEINAU MYERS (awesome photographer and person, by the way) who trekked over to the Mercury Bar this past Wednesday night to cover the event. She was a trooper and hung out, taking tons of pics, for every reading (which happened to be accompanied by a roof-shaking punk/metal hum coming from the artist studio upstairs). But despite the noise–we had a great turn-out and everyone seemed to have fun. Scroll through all 23 photos on Honolulu Pulse, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s event-site, or just click here if you want to see what you missed. If you were there, chances are Malia photographed you, so check it.

 

Photo by Mailia Leniau Myers

Stay  tuned for February’s event, which will (as always) be the second Wednesday of the month, at the Mercury Bar!

New Years Resolution: Living in Tweakerville, discovering The Size of the Universe, and being King of the Hawaii Review

It’s hard to keep up with all the great literature being written in Honolulu. Luckily, the M.I.A. Art & Literary Series is here to pull you up by your slippers and drag you out once a month for a night of good booze and good performances by local artists. This month we are proud to have three strapping young men grace us with their presence.

Alexei Melnick is the author of Tweakerville, which the Honolulu Weekly called “the real thing”. Read reviews of Alexei’s book here and  here, and then come hear him read on Jan. 12th.

Joseph Cardinale is the author of The Size of the Universe, which HTMLGIANT reviewed here. Cardinale’s work can be read at Web Conjunctions. It’s awesome and he’s awesome. So come to M.I.A. and confirm his awesomeness.

Donovan Colleps is the Editor-in-Chief of the Hawaii Review. The new issue will be out soon, and yes, he will be in it, which we don’t think is weird at all. Donovan is a cool person and looks really young for his age, so you’ll definitely want to hear him read.

The night will be hosted by Chris Riel of In Yo Face Improv. So be prepared to laugh. A lot. (No pressure Chris!) IYFI is awesome, and if you come by M.I.A. you’ll learn how/when/where to see more of Chris & his funny friends.

Looking forward to this event, Wednesday, January 12th @ the good ‘ol Mercury Bar conveniently located in an alley in Chinatown. Address on the flyer. Hope to see you all there!