Hawaiʻi Review Editorial Board 2019
Māhealani Ahia • leilani portillo • Tina Togafau • Marley Aiu • Aaron Kiʻilau • LynleyShimat Lys
Māhealani Ahia is a Los Angeles-born Kanaka ‘Ōiwi artist, scholar, activist and cultural practitioner. Māhea has a professional background in writing, performance and production. She credits UC Berkeley and UC Irvine with helping her develop her craft, and her Masters Degree in Mythology and Psychology for showing the power of story to heal. As a PhD student here in the English Department, she focuses on Hawaiian and Pacific Literatures and Indigenous Lifewriting. With ancestral ties to Maui, she approaches research and creative projects with a committment to engaging ‘Ōiwi epistemologies, ethical community engagement, and decolonial praxis. Her current projects include organizing and presenting at the (Re)Mapping Indigenous and Settler Geographies Conference this October 19-20; developing the musical play Kaomi Ka Moʻi, a tragic love story of Kauikeaouli (King Kamehameha III), his sister Nahienaena and his ʻaikane Kaomi; as well as a lifewriting project sheʻll be presenting on for the noontime Brown Bag Biography series on October 18th, called “Kihawahine: Shapeshifting Life and Afterlife of Maui’s Famous Akua Moʻo.” Having previously published with Hawaii Review, Māhea is grateful for the opportunity to join this amazing team for such an innovative OER project.
leilani portillo is a queer multiracial kanaka maoli poet that was born and raised in the Bay Area. She resides in Mānana, HI and is working on her PhD in Poetry at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Most of her work focuses on multiracial Hawaiian identity in the diaspora and reconnecting to Hawaiian culture and values.
Tina Togafau (Samoan/Western Shoshone) was born and raised in California and will begin their PhD in English at UH Mānoa this fall. Their interests include science(physics and marine biology as of late), indigenous science fiction, theology, and queer theory. When they're not being a nerd, Tina can be found with a cocktail and book at Manifest.
Marley Aiu (BA in Dance Performance and English) was born in Denver, Colorado, a place where most people struggle with guessing her ethnicity (of which there are many and if you throw a dart at a map there’s a good chance it will land in a place where she is in some way connected); these include Hawaiian, Greek, and Filipino. She was editor of East High School’s Literary Magazine, Serendipity, has been commissioned to write theatrical music scores such as the high school productions of To Kill A Mockingbird and Women of Troy, she was awarded “Best Choreographer of the Year” and “Best Dance of the Year” as a member of East Dance Company, and her poetry has been featured on Colorado Public Radio and Colorado Public Television. Marley’s work can be found at https://intoaworldofself.weebly.com.
Aaron Ki'ilau (Kanaka/Settler descent) is a PhD student at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa. He is a graduate of Kamehameha Schools Kapālama Campus, Leeward Community College, University of Hawai'i—West O'ahu (BA, Humanities), and UHM (MA, English). Aaron is a founding member of the LCC Writers Guild and a former staff writer for The Hoot at UHWO. Aaron publishes poetry and prose. His current projects include “The Universal Translator and (the Avoidance of) Alien Language Acquisition in Science Fiction” (SFRA), “Taking Back the Hyrule: The Legend of Zelda and the Imperial Imaginary,” and “Nā Inoa Lau o Kalauao: Deconstructing Pearlridge.” Aaron’s research interests vary from semiotics, performance theory, history of philosophy, Pidgin in Hawai'i, representations of Hawai'i in media, and intersections in music and language(s). He also worked as a tutor for Student Athlete Academic Services and The Writing Center at UHM, serving as the latter’s Web Coordinator.
Aaron is also a classically trained musician and composer since childhood having performed with symphonic, chamber, and theater ensembles throughout his life. Several of his productions have been released on labels in the US, UK, and Italy. Aaron has also composed for film including his Incidental Music for Charlie Chaplin’s Easy Street for Piano.
LynleyShimat Lys \ Pronoun: They/Them \ http://lynleyshimatlyspoetry.weebly.com
(MFA, Queens College- CUNY, Poetry and Translation, 2016) is a PhD candidate in English at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, and poetry editor of the Hawai’i Review. Lynley has taught Composition and Creative Writing courses at Queens College - CUNY and the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Recent work appears in Drunken Boat and Apogee, and work is forthcoming in the Bowery Poetry Anthology. Lynley reviews poetry collections for Drunken Boat Online, and has reviewed books for Fjords Review. They worked as a social media and newsletter editor for H_NGM_N, and served as first reader for the First CLMP Firecracker Awards and the Atlas Review Chapbook Series.