A graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, I have taught English at the U. of Hawaii and the U. of Montana, and worked in Montana state government. After that I became a United Methodist minister, pastoring churches in Colorado and Montana. My short story, "The Cherry Tree," won first prize in the 2011 Common Review Short Story Prize contest. Stories, poems, and creative nonfiction of mine have appeared in literary and other magazines, including The North American Review, the Hawaii Review, the Chariton Review, and, most recently, A River and Sound Review, Written River, The Whirlwind Review, 5x5, Assisi, In Our Own Voice, Divide: Journal of Literature, Arts and Ideas, Poems Across the Big Sky, Moonrabbit Review, and The Other Side.
Get Poi?: Childhood Memories of Hawaii During World War IIby Lowell Uda
It was a world of growing ethnic diversity, a polyglot culture in which the ability to speak Standard English was a touchstone of one's
Get Poi? is creative nonfiction in which I remember and recreate my experiences as a child in wartime Honolulu. I wanted to touch, see, hear, smell, and taste the world that shaped my growing up and acquiring of language.
It was a world of growing ethnic diversity, a polyglot culture in which the ability to speak Standard English was a touchstone of one's trustworthiness and loyalty to the United States of America, and in which my second generation Japanese-American parents did their best to raise me and my increasing number of siblings to become the human beings we would need to be.
The task of Americanizing us was complicated and enriched by my mother who was entrusted as an infant to a native Hawaiian family. This family received her as one of their own and taught her not only the Hawaiian language but also the Hawaiian way of relating to the world. She also became a Mormon, seeing in the religion of the Latter-day Saints something uniquely American that might insulate her children from unwanted influences.
It was my father who kept our connection with the Japanese-American culture alive.
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