Sponsored by:

Comment, blog & share photos

Log in | Become a member
The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, August 25, 2002

Author of sold-out 'Melal' honored

By Wanda A. Adams
Advertiser Book Editor

Steve and Ui Goldsberry, writers and editors who live out La'ie way, annually sponsor a writing award in honor of Steve's mother. This year, the winner of the Harriet Goldsberry Award is Robert Barclay, author of "Melal" (UH Press, paper, $14.95), a notable new novel set in the Marshall Islands (See our review and interview with Barclay on Tuesday). "Melal" was a Barnes & Noble "Discover Great New Writers" selection, and the rather meager first printing of 4,000 copies has sold out at the wholesale level; UH Press is reprinting. Barclay and the Goldsberrys will meet up next week at the Maui Writers Conference.

"Gaia II: Song of the Vanishing Tribe."
New local books: Of note is a remarkably fine art photograph book, "Gaia II: Song of the Vanishing Tribe," photographed and designed by Mauian Paige DePonte. Proceeds from this stunning collection of photographs of endangered people and their surroundings benefit organizations that teach the "vanishing tribes" how to utilize their environment in sustainable ways. Michael Eric Stern, a Maui writer who wrote the introduction to the book, writes, "The sepia-toned ethnographic images are combined into digital photo collages with the kind of imaginative energy and technical brilliance that turns Photoshop (a computer graphics program) into a paintbrush — some collages are so kinetic they suggest frozen movies."

Also new, "Sparky: Warrior, Peacemaker, Poet, Patriot," (Watermark, paper, $16.95), about the late Sen. Spark M. Matsunaga, authorized by the Matsunaga family and written by Richard Halloran. A World War II veteran, campaigner for civil rights and longtime lawmaker, Matsunaga is a key figure in modern Hawai'i history.

And just released is "Double Lives," a new book by David Heenan (Davies-Black, hardback, $24.95). It is an inspirational book that profiles important figures who successfully pursued multiple passions in their lives (i.e., Winston Churchill with politics and painting), and it is designed to illustrate how nurturing hidden or neglected interests can help balance a busy and stressed life. As the book jacket notes, Heenan, a Campbell Estate trustee and former vice president of academic affairs at the University of Hawai'i, is himself a "double lifer," having always juggled business and academia.

Estrella Besinga Sybinsky, who lived in Hawai'i for more than 20 years and still owns a home here, wrote from Franklin, Tenn., where she lives now, to tell us about her new poetry collection, "Portents & Promises: Echoes of Politics, People and Places" (First Books Library, www.1stbooks.com). Sybinsky, who came to Hawai'i from the Philippines on a graduate scholarship to the University of Hawai'i and who has taught political science, calls it "a celebration of the human spirit" that touches on political, philosophical, cultural, spiritual and religious themes.

Tinfish releases: Susan Schultz of Tinfish Press, publisher of experimental poetry, writes to say that a flock of new chapbooks and the 12th Tinfish journal are coming out soon. Writers will include New Zealander Murray Edmond; Sawako Nakayasu, who lives in Rhode Island but comes from Japan; and pidgin guerrilla Lee Tonouchi. To find out about the upcoming publications, keep an eye on the Web site http://maven.english.hawaii.edu/tinfish.

Writing scholarships: The Bamboo Ridge Writers Institute set for Oct. 25-26 and the Bamboo Ridge Press are offering opportunities for writers still in high school to receive scholarships to attend the event, which includes a Friday-night reading and daylong Saturday workshops and panels with noted local authors. To find out more about scholarships, call Bamboo Ridge, 626-1481; deadline for scholarship applications is Sept. 30. For others, the early sign-up fee of $55 for the writers institute expires Aug. 31; after that, the fee is $75.