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Creative writing workshop features Poet Laureate of Hawai‘i


Image courtesy of Kai Gaspar and Brandy Nālani McDougall

Hawai‘i State Poet Laureate Brandy Nālani McDougall and Kai Gaspar, both of whom are Kānaka ‘Ōiwi poets, authors, and teachers, will be the featured guests at the next Mostly Monthly Reading Series event, where they will lead a workshop-style session about writing.

The event is from 10 a.m. to noon on Thursday, March 14, at the University of Hawai‘i–West O‘ahu’s James & Abigail Campbell Library second-floor exhibition space. It is a collaboration between Gaspar, McDougall, Andy Godefroy — English lecturer and founder/curator of the Mostly Monthly Reading Series — and the library.

“I am super excited to feature two great writers who are willing to spend time with our students and facilitate a deep dive into our own creativity,” Godefroy said.

Gaspar described the event as a creative writing workshop “focused on magic, because we are in Kapolei.” They will facilitate conversations and writing manifestation poems, chants, prayers, and incantations. There will also be snacks and prizes offered at the event.

Gaspar is the author of “Ulu,” a collection of poetry and prose blending Hawaiian and English. Gaspar’s works have been published in “Mauri Ola Contemporary Polynesian Poems in English / Whetu Moana II,” “Tinfish,” “Yellow Medicine Review,” “Hawai‘i Review,” and more.

McDougall is the Hawai‘i State Poet Laureate for 2023 to 2025. She is the author of the poetry collections, “The Salt-Wind, Ka Makani Pa‘akai” and “‘Āina Hānau, Birth Land.” Her monograph, “Finding Meaning: Kaona and Contemporary Hawaiian Literature,” was the winner of the Native American Literature Symposium’s Beatrice Medicine Award for Published Monograph.

Godefroy, who started the Mostly Monthly Reading Series in 2013, said the series is an opportunity for the UH West O‘ahu community to interact with the larger literary community of Hawai‘i.

“This is the 10-year anniversary of our first event and hopefully the start of our next 10,” Godefroy said.

The Mostly Monthly Reading Series event is open to UH West O‘ahu students, faculty, and staff, and the general public. Anyone who has questions or would like more info may email