2022 O'ahu Conference Schedule

Friday, June 3 - Zoom

7:00-8:00 pm   


OPENING FESTIVITIES with Honolulu Theatre for Youth (HTY) featuring work inspired by Tammy Yee, a reading by Tammy, then Q&A with Tammy and HTY.


Saturday, June 4 - Zoom

8:00-8:30 am   


Networking/Practice for Zoom in the main room




WELCOME and CLH Hall of Fame Ceremony for distinguished local author/illustrator Tammy Yee (The Angel of Santo Tomas, The Castle that Kai Built)




KEYNOTE SPEECH by Tammy Yee: "Where Words and Images Dance" 




Using Literature: The Inspiring Past


Kapaemahu: The Power of a Lost Story Found 


Dean Hamer, Joe Wilson, Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu


Kapaemahu is a bilingual children's picture book for ages 3-8 about four extraordinary individuals of dual male and female spirit, or mahu, who brought healing arts from Tahiti to Hawai`i. It is part of an educational project that includes an Oscar-contending animated short film, a documentary, and a Bishop Museum exhibition that explore how and why this story was altered as colonialism and globalization brought change to Hawai`i.


This session will engage participants with project creators, excerpts of the book read in `Olelo Ni`ihau, and introduction to an activity guide for the book developed by Kanaeokana “for teachers by teachers.” The book release, launch event, and exhibition all happen in June.





Writing and illustrating workshop -- just for youth (grades 6-12): Graphic novels with Tammy Yee.


In graphic novels, sequential images show what words don’t tell. Get tips on thinking visually and create sketches for your first illustrated page. Register to get the link to materials.




LUNCH and free conversation/networking (Tammy and teens to join at 12:15 if they like)




Children's Contest Awards: Poetry and Illustration 




Creating Literature: The Expressive Present


A Conversation About Writing and the Creative Arts with Musician/Author/Painter Graham Salisbury


Graham will be joined by CLH Steering Committee members Andrea Bartlett and Sue Cowing


An interview on life in the creative arts with middle-grade and young adult author/storyteller Graham Salisbury (Under the Blood-Red Sun). The conversation will revolve around the process of creation, sources of inspiration, overcoming resistance, personal growth and the joy of accomplishment.





Interpreting Literature: The Multiplicitous Future


The Future(s) of Literature(s) for Young Audiences


Kristiana Kahakauwila, Caryn Lesuma, Lyz Soto, Todd H. Sammons


This will be something of a potpourri panel on the possible futures of both written and oral works for young audiences from at least four different perspectives. Kristiana will talk about her experience editing for Highlights for Children. Caryn will talk about her dissertation, the aptly titled “Contemporary Young Adult Literature in Hawai‘i and the Pacific: Genre, Diaspora, and Oceanic Futures.” Lyz will talk about how important spoken word poetry has been for her and for others. And Todd will talk about diversity and inclusion in the various series written by Rick Riordan (and the series he edits: “Rick Riordan Presents”).









Special Professional Q&A Session with Tammy Yee ($25/$20)




Free conversation/networking


Sunday, June 5 - Chaminade University



CHILDREN'S ACTIVITIES and pickup of items (masks required)    

  • Story Magic crafts
  • Dance performance by Tammy Yee shown on video
  • Storytelling by Jeff Gere in person
  • Kapaemahu animated video
  • Instructional crafts videos available online via the registration form 
  • Curbside pickup of crafts supply packets for online videos, pre-purchased T-shirts
    • packets may be requested until noon Friday, June 3, by using the registration form
    • pickup at Sullivan Library Tent 

Presenter Bios

Tammy Yee: https://www.tammyyee.com/bio.html


Dean Hamer is a New York Times Book of the Year author, National Institutes of Health scientist emeritus, and Emmy and GLAAD Media award-winning filmmaker.  He co-founded The Kapaemahu Project with his partner in life and filmmaking, Joe Wilson, and cultural advocate Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu. His films increase understanding of human sexuality and gender and Polynesia’s unique approach to diversity and inclusion. Hamer is also the author of several best-selling nonfiction books including The Science of Desire and The God Gene, has been a consultant for the BBC and Discovery channels, and has had research has been featured in Time, Newsweek, and Science magazines and on Frontline and The Oprah Winfrey Show.  http://www.kapaemahu.com


Kristiana Kahakauwila is the author of This is Paradise (Hogarth 2013), a story collection set in and about contemporary Hawai'i, and the forthcoming middle grade novel Clairboyance (HarperCollins 2024). A former editor with Highlights for Children, Kristiana is now an assistant professor in the English department of the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa. Her website is http://www.kristianakahakauwila.com


Caryn Lesuma is an assistant professor of English at Brigham Young University–Hawai‘i, where she teaches courses in literature and composition. Her current research explores the purpose and function of contemporary Young Adult literatures of Oceania, with additional interests including folklore, Pacific literature, and place-based pedagogy and rhetoric.  


Graham Salisbury has published 20 books for young readers, all but one set in the Hawaiian Islands where he grew up. He is best known for his world War II novels Under the Blood-Red Sun and Eyes of the Emperor, two of a four-book series focusing on the World War II experiences of Hawaii's Japanese-Americans. The veteran's of the 100th Battalion Veteran's Club (part of the famous 442nd Regimental Combat Team) have honored him with an Honorary Membership for his efforts in telling their largely untold stories. Before turning to writing, Graham spent several years in the LA music business as a songwriter/singer of sunshine pop. More recently, he has turned to the visual arts as a way to feed his creative drive, combining a series of memoir narratives with his paintings. To discover more about Graham Salisbury, visit http://www.grahamsalisbury.com


Todd H. Sammons has been involved with the Biennial Conferences on Literature and Hawai`i's Children since the second such conference way back in 1982, just two years after joining the UH-Mānoa English Department, where he is now a tenured Associate Professor. He first got on the conference steering committee in the late 80s/early 90s; he was the facilities czar for the 1992 conference; and, in the mid-1990s, he became President of the newly incorporated non-profit Children's Literature Hawai`i. Over the decades, he has facilitated innumerable steering committee meetings, written for and edited the conference proceedings and Humanities Guide, done many "Let's Talk About" the featured author presentations, and presented at just about all of the 21st-century conferences. Because of the enormous amount of other work he does for the conference and CLH, we like to call him not only board president but unofficial executive director.


Lyz Soto is a page, stage, and visual poet with families from Ilocos Norte, Texas, Alabama, the Visayas, Germany, Guangdong, England, and France. She was born on the Hāmākua coast on the island of Hawaiʻi and raised on the islands of Maui and Oʻahu. She has worked with Youth Speaks Hawaiʻi and Pacific Tongues teaching spoken word and poetry to youth in Hawaiʻi, Aotearoa, Papua New Guinea, and the Marshall Islands. Lyz has had the privilege of witnessing poetry transform people’s lives. She believes in the possibility of better futures for all of us. Website: http://www.lyzsoto.com


Joe Wilson is an Emmy Award-winning filmmaker dedicated to telling stories that emanate from the voices of those on the outside. His feature and short films combine live action with animation to explore pressing social issues through innovative storytelling.  Wilson’s work has screened and won awards at festivals around the world including Berlin, Toronto and Tribeca, been viewed by millions of viewers on PBS, Netflix, ARTE and other international broadcasts, and has been supported by Sundance Film Festival, Ford Motor Company, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Kapaemahu is his fifth film in collaboration with Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu. Previously, Wilson served as Director of the Human Rights at the Public Welfare Foundation and a Producer of Pacifica Radio’s Democracy Now. http://www.kapaemahu.com



Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu is a Native Hawaiian teacher, cultural practitioner and filmmaker who uses digital media to protect and perpetuate indigenous languages and traditions. She began her film work as a protagonist and educational advisor for the award winning films Kumu Hina and A Place in the Middle, and received a National Education Association Human Rights Award, Native Hawaiian Educator of the year and White House Champion of Change for the groundbreaking impact campaigns associated with those films. Continuing her journey to the other side of the lens, Kumu Hina produced the award-winning short Lady Eva and PBS feature documentary Leitis in Waiting about her transgender sisters in the Kingdom of Tonga. Kapaemahu is her first film in 'Olelo Ni'ihau, in which she is fluent. Hina is also a transgender health advocate, burial council chair, candidate for the Board of Trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, and composer of “Ku Haaheo E Kuu Hawai'i,” the internationally known anthem for the protection of Mauna Kea. http://www.kapaemahu.com