Post MFA. I submitted a proposal for the first time to read my creative work for the annual symposium at the University of Hawaii-Manoa on Pedagogy and Community Building sponsored by the Center for South Asian Studies. Something about the call for papers from a wide variety of people- not just academics, but artists, writers, practicioners- drew me to submit a proposal. All credit goes to Professor Sai Bhatawedkar for this vision. I have been to many conferences but as a lawyer, not as a writer and certainly not to share from my project about the Meos and family history. Reading such intimate work, turning the anthropological gaze inwards to understand my own identity and community, was new territory.
I arrived a few days before the conference and appropriately wandered around Waikiki beach. To prepare a reading at the beach for a panel was new and should really be done more. The conference turned out to be as eclectic as one might have imagined with participants from all over- the US, Canada, India and we all had a wondrous few days together, culminating in snorkeling in the Great Pacific ocean.