Eight Presentations on Two Islands to Include Former and Current U.S. Poet Laureates, the 2019 Pulitzer Winner for Poetry, a Renowned Hawaiian Scholar, and Other Literary Luminaries
September 12, 2019 (Haiku, HI) – Beginning in October 2019, the Merwin Conservancy will present a Memorial Series of The Green Room, the beloved event offering that brings major literary and visionary talent to Hawai‘i in support of the Conservancy’s nonprofit community mission to honor the power of both the imagination and environmental stewardship. Each Green Room presentation is held on two islands, on Maui at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center, and on O‘ahu in partnership with the Honolulu Museum of Art. After the passing of the Conservancy’s founders–most recently W.S. Merwin in March 2019, and his wife Paula Merwin in 2017–this special Memorial Series of the Green Room is being held in their honor, and celebrates their legacy both in the curation of content and in the choice of speakers. Tickets will go on sale Saturday, September 14th and will be available at the box offices of each venue, and online at the venue websites.
This Memorial Series includes presentations from renowned Hawaiian scholar, kumu hula and cultural treasure Dr. Pualani Kanaka‘ole Kanahele in October 2019, former U.S. Poet Laureate and award-winning poet and translator Robert Hass and Forrest Gander – winner of the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry – in December 2019, U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo in January 2020, and a gathering of poets to commemorate the one-year anniversary of W.S. Merwin’s passing in March 2020, including Edward Hirsch, Jane Hirshfield, Naomi Shihab Nye and Kevin Young.
Season tickets and VIP Access are available through the Conservancy’s new Green Room Patrons program, offered on Maui and O‘ahu. To learn more about the Patrons Program, visit the Conservancy website at: www.merwinconservancy.org/patrons
The complete Memorial Series lineup is as follows, with additional guest appearances to be announced:
Dr. Pualani Kanaka‘ole Kanahele reading from W.S. Merwin’s The Folding Cliffs and discussing the narrative of 19th century Hawai‘i through a kanaka maoli lens:
10/9/19 – Doris Duke Theatre at Honolulu Museum of Art, 7pm
10/13/19 – McCoy Studio Theater at Maui Arts & Cultural Center, 7pm
Robert Hass (former U.S. Poet Laureate) & Forrest Gander (2019 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry) sharing the stage for readings and conversation in celebration of the beauty of language:
12/11/19 – Doris Duke Theatre at Honolulu Museum of Art, 7pm
12/13/19 – McCoy Studio Theater at Maui Arts & Cultural Center, 7pm
Joy Harjo, 2019-2020 U.S. Poet Laureate reads from her stunning works of poetry:
1/28/20 – Doris Duke Theatre at Honolulu Museum of Art, 7pm
1/30/20 – McCoy Studio Theater at Maui Arts & Cultural Center, 7pm
Poets Edward Hirsch, Naomi Shihab Hye, Jane Hirshfield & Kevin Young presenting readings and conversation that celebrate W.S. Merwin’s indelible mark on writers worldwide:
3/18/20 – Doris Duke Theatre at Honolulu Museum of Art, 7pm
3/20/20 – McCoy Studio Theater at Maui Arts & Cultural Center, 7pm
“There could be no better tribute to W.S. Merwin than to remember him alongside these incredible writers, poets, and thinkers,” says The Merwin Conservancy’s executive director, Sonnet Coggins. “Like William and Paula, each of our Green Room guests awakens us to the possibilities of our world, and of our imaginations. We at The Merwin Conservancy feel so fortunate to come together with these brilliant minds, our generous partners, and our growing community in the Green Room.”
The Green Room Memorial Series is presented by Aqua-Aston Hospitality, a Hawaii-based travel industry leader.
“This presenting sponsorship by Aqua-Aston Hospitality is another example of the company’s long term advocacy for art, culture, inclusion and environmental stewardship. We are thrilled to support this Series. Not only will it bring some of the world’s most incredible literary talent to Hawaii, it will do so while sharing the importance of protecting and preserving our natural environment with the world,” says Theresa van Greunen, the company’s senior director of corporate communications.
In addition to Aqua-Aston’s generous presenting sponsorship of the series on both islands, series-wide support is also provided by a generous grant from Atherton Family Foundation and the Conservancy’s Green Room Patrons. The Honolulu Green Room series is made possible by a partnership with Honolulu Museum of Art with additional support from Halekulani. The Maui presentations of the Green Room are additionally supported by Casa de Flores.
New this year, the Conservancy launched a “season tickets” program called Green Room Patrons, which allows donors to reserve tickets for themselves and a guest for the entire series, and also provides VIP access to the events’ private receptions and reserved seating in the theater.
Past Green Rooms have included presentations from U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith, Bill McKibben, Billy Collins, Richard Powers, Lewis Hyde, Matthew Zapruder, Robin Wall Kimmerer, Edward Hirsch, Lewis Hyde, Matthew Zapruder, Michael Wiegers, Pualani Kanaka‘ole Kanahele, Alexis Rockman, Susan Middleton, Cathy Song, Hope Jahren, Bill Porter aka Red Pine, William Finnegan, Michael Ondaatje, Gary Paul Nabhan, Jane Hirshfield, David Grubin, Susan Casey, Barry Lopez, Naomi Shihab Nye, Terry Tempest Williams, and Dr. Abraham Verghese. For more information, visit: www.merwinconservancy.org/the-green-room.
About the Green Room Memorial Series Speakers
To read complete bios and access high resolution photos for each speaker, please click here to download.
About The Merwin Conservancy
Founded in 2010, The Merwin Conservancy’s mission is to inspire innovation in the arts and sciences by advancing the ideas of W.S. Merwin – his life, work, house and palm forest – as fearless and graceful examples of the power of imagination and renewal.
To fulfill this mission, the Conservancy maintains the house and palm forest as a place of stillness and reflection for retreat, study, and contemplation through a residency program for creative visionaries and thought leaders from Hawaii and across the world. We engage both local and global communities through our Green Room literary and environmental salon series, through dynamic multimedia storytelling projects, and through innovative collaborations with various artistic, scientific and educational leaders and institutions.
About Aqua Aston Hospitality
With a 70-year legacy, Honolulu-based Aqua-Aston Hospitality is a destination expert that provides management and marketing services. Its nearly 40 managed hotels and resorts are located in Hawaii, the continental United States, and Central America, and include the company’s own proprietary brands – Aqua Hotels & Resorts, Aston Hotels & Resorts, Lite Hotels, Instinct Hotel Collection, and Maui Condo and Home – as well as brands of global groups such as Hilton, Inc., InterContinental Hotels Group, and Marriott International. The company prides itself on the expertise of its teammates and offers its own 24/7 call center to best serve the needs of travelers from across the globe. For more information, visit AquaAston.com or call (855) 945-4092.