Sunday, October 13, 2019 at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center, McCoy Studio Theater
Wednesday, October 9, 2019 at the Honolulu Museum of Art, Doris Duke Theatre
The Merwin Conservancy presented an evening with Hawaiian scholar and living treasure Dr. Pualani Kanaka‘ole Kanahele, whose lifetime accomplishments as a kumu hula, writer, educator, musician, and dedicated community leader make her a sought-after speaker and cultural consultant.
Dr. Kanahele was the guest of honor at the first event of the “Memorial Series” of the Green Room arts and ecology salons, held in memory of the conservancy’s founders, poet and environmentalist W.S. Merwin and his wife Paula Merwin.
In this special presentation, Dr. Kanahele, a longtime friend of Mr. Merwin, read from his epic Hawaiian narrative poem, “The Folding Cliffs,” and discussed Merwin’s masterwork through a kanaka maoli lens.
“The Folding Cliffs”, published in 1998, is a thrilling story, in verse, of nineteenth-century Hawaii. It tells the story of an attempt by the government to seize and constrain possible victims of leprosy and the determination of one small family–Ko‘olau, Pi‘ilani, and their son, Kaleimanu–not to be taken. Merwin’s verses tell of the perils and glories of their flight into the wilds of the island of Kaua‘i, pursued by a gunboat full of soldiers.
The Memorial Series of the Green Room was presented by Aqua Aston Hospitality and was made possible with the generous support of the Atherton Family Foundation, and Casa de Flores.
Dr. Kanahele also appeared in a Green Room presentation that preceded this one, on Wednesday, October 9th at the Honolulu Museum of Art.
Photos by Bryan Berkowitz