Lanai Public Library - Thursday, November 10 , 2011
Over 70 LHES students and a dozen adults lucky enough to be in the library were held spellbound for a solid hour by slam poetry master Kealoha on November 10. His presentation was alternately dynamic, moving, funny and heart-touching, while incorporating elements of dance, yoga and storytelling. Holding the audience in the palm of his hand from the outset, Kealoha then delighted the crowd with an amazing example of what he aptly described as "freestyling," in which the students wrote a single word in block letters on sheets of paper and held them up over their heads. In the next three minutes, Kealoha used every word displayed, ranging from "Oreo" to "idiosyncratic," to create a fluid poem that told a story. While displaying a wealth of creativity and energy, just as importantly, he conveyed a clear message to the rapt young audience that anything is possible if you believe in yourself. Just a glance at the student photos here show that Kealoha effortlessly achieved a teacher's dream; completely engrossed students.
Kealoha is the first poet in Hawaii's history to perform at a governor's inauguration, and in 2010 he was selected as a master artist for a National Endowment for the Arts program. Impressively, Kealoha graduated with honors from MIT with a degree in Nuclear Physics (and a minor in writing), and served as a business consultant in San Francisco prior to becoming a professional poet in 2002. He has also collaborated with such notable artists as Henry Kapono, Hapa, Makana, Willie K, and even Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac fame.
You can learn more about this amazing artist, read some of his work and see his touring schedule at his website: http://www.kealohapoetry.com. No matter if you enjoy poetry or not, this is a performer you should not miss at any cost. Be sure to check out his schedule, you owe it to yourself to experience what those of us in the library on November 10 were lucky enough to see.
Kealoha's visit to Lanai was sponsored and produced by the UH Manoa Outreach College and the Lanai Public Library staff, with funding by the Hawaii State Foundation for Culture and the Arts.