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by Jessica McDunn, University Relations


Christy Passion of Honolulu has been named the recipient of the James M. Vaughan Award for Poetry at Hawai‘i Pacific University.

She will receive $500 and be recognized at HPU’s tenth annual Ko‘olau Writing Workshop on March 3, at the windward Hawai‘i Loa campus in Kan e‘ohe.

Passion’s three winning poems titled “Old Letter,” “Fishing at the Hula Show-Kupuna Division,” and “Identity Crisis,” were selected from about 60 entries of three poems each, and will be published this summer in volume 21 of HPU’s literary magazine, Hawai‘i Pacific Review.

Though she only began writing poetry a few years ago, Passion’s work has been published in Bamboo Ridge, The Hawai‘i Review, and the Honolulu Star-Bulletin. She has won several awards for her writing, including Academy of American Poets, Hemingway Award, and University of Hawai‘i Hawaiian Poetry Award.

“ This is a true poet whose skills are demonstrated so carefully yet deftly in all the writing,” said Adele Ne Jame, assistant professor of English at HPU and the judge for this year’s contest.
“ Passion’s truthfulness and courage are the essence of each poem. The content is serious even when it is playful and reminds me that good poetry teaches us how to feel joy in the smallest moments, to confront conflict, to be hyperconscious of every moment we are breathing, and at its best, it teaches us how to live,” Nejame continued.

“ There is strong beauty in these poems, in this writer’s use of language, without strain, or self-consciousness. Yet, control and stringency are present at every turn. There is an arresting precision in the tension the writer creates,” NeJame added.

“ The writer knows how to end a poem, and as readers, we sense that clicking shut of a box that renders complete satisfaction.”

The James M. Vaughan Award for Poetry is named after Hawai‘i Pacific University alumnus James M. Vaughan, who established a fund to enhance the literature and poetry programs at HPU. Each year HPU recognizes a Hawai‘i writer for an outstanding poem or group of poems.




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