Odhiambo named as a recipient of 2019 Elliot Cades Award for Literature

Photo of a man sitting in front of a wood fence wearing a white jacket and white cap. His right hand is resting on his head as he stares into the camera

Dr. D. Nandi Odhiambo

UH West Oʻahu Assistant Professor of English, D. Nandi Odhiambo, has been named a 2019 recipient of the Elliot Cades Award for Literature, considered among the most prestigious literary honors bestowed in Hawaiʻi.

Odhiambo, along with Jean Toyama, a UH Mānoa professor emerita in the College of Languages, Linguistics, and Literature, were selected for the awards that have been given annually since 1988. Odhiambo was the recipient of the award given an established artist, while Toyama was the winner of the award given an emerging artist.

The Cades awards were created in memory of Elliot Cades by Charlotte and J. Russell Cades and come with a cash prize for winners. The Hawaiʻi Literary Arts Council administers the awards program as part of its mission to encourage and promote literature and literary activity in the state. Past winners of the established artist award include Poet and UH Mānoa Associate Professor of English Craig Santos Perez, Author Paul Theroux, and Native Hawaiian Author Kiana Davenport.

Dr. Odhiambo, who was born in Nairobi, Kenya, published his most recent novel,  Smells Like Stars (Book*hug), last year.  His first novel, diss/ed banded nations, was published in 1998 and followed by Kipligatʻs Chance in 2003. The Reverendʻs Apprentice was published in 2008. He has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and a Ph.D. in English from UH Mānoa.

Dr. Toyama has been a UH faculty member for more than 30 years, teaching classes in French language and literature, poetry, and the novel. She is the author of several linked poetry and commentary works, What We Must Remember and No Choice But to Follow, with fellow poets Ann Inoshita, Juliet Kono, and Christy Passion. She also is the author of Prepositions and Kelli’s Hanauma Friends, a book of poems

Odhiambo and Toyama are scheduled to receive their awards and give a reading from their works at 11 a.m., Saturday, May 4, during the annual Hawaiʻi Book & Music Festival on the Honolulu Municipal Building grounds.  

Image courtesy of D. Nandi Odhiambo