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Kathryn Waddell Takara

Poet and professor Kathryn Waddell Takara was born in 1943 in Tuskegee, Alabama to Lottie and Dr. William Waddell IV. After graduating from George School in Newtown, Pennsylvania, she earned her B.A. degree from Tufts University in 1965. Takara went on to receive her M.A. degree in French from the University of California at Berkeley in 1969, and her Ph.D. degree in political science from the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa in 1995.

In 1971, Takara joined the Ethnic Studies Department at the University of Hawai`i at Mānoa as an assistant professor, where she developed courses in African American and African politics, history, literature, and culture. During her thirty-one year career at the university, she rose to associate professor in the university’s Interdisciplinary Studies Program and taught French. Her poetry has been published in a variety of publications including; Interdisciplinary Studies Humanities Journal, Honolulu Stories, Words Upon the Waters, The African Journal of New Poetry, Arkansas Review, Africa Literary Journal, Julie Mango Press, Poetry Motel, Peace & Policy, From Totems to Hip Hop, Hawai`i Review, Chaminade Literary Review, All She Wrote: Hawai`i Women s Voices, and World of Poetry, An Anthology. Her essays have appeared in the Du Bois Review: Social Science Research on Race, The Black Scholar, Multi-America: Essays on Cultural Wars and Cultural Peace, The Western Journal of Black Studies, and The Honolulu Advertiser. She performed her poetry and lectured extensively throughout the Hawaiian Islands, the Continental United States, and in Beijing and Qingdao, China. In 2003, Takara launched Pacific Raven Press, serving as its owner, editor, and publisher. She published three books of poetry: New and Collected Poems in 2003, Pacific Raven: Hawaii Poems in 2009, and Tourmalines: Beyond the Ebony Portal in 2010. She also released a poetic trilogy, including the books Love’s Seasons in 2014, Zimbabwe Spin in 2015, and Shadow Dancing: $elling $urvival in China in 2016.

Takara was the recipient of the University of Hawai’i Board of Regents Outstanding Teacher Award and was a two-time Fulbright Fellow, in 1966 and 1996. She received the 2010 American Book Award for her published work Pacific Raven: Hawai`i Poems. She was knighted into the Orthodox Order of St. John, Russian Grand Priory in 2014, and received the Lifetime Achievement Award in Education and African American history and culture in Hawai’i from the NAACP in 2016.

Kathryn Takara was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 10, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.137

Sex

Female

Interview Date

12/10/2019

Last Name

Takara

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Marie Waddell Brundage

Occupation
Schools

George School

Tufts University

University of California, Berkeley

University of Hawaii at Manoa

First Name

Kathryn

Birth City, State, Country

Tuskegee

HM ID

TAK01

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Qingdao, China/Bordeaux, France/Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire

Favorite Quote

To Thine Own Self Be True

Speakers Bureau Region State

Hawaii

Birth Date

12/26/1943

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Ka'a'awa

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Breakfast

Short Description

Poet and professor Kathryn Takara (1943- ), an award winning poet, has performed her works in Africa, Europe, Central America, Tahiti and China, and served as associate professor from the University of Hawai`i at Mānoa.

Employment

University of California Berkeley

Hawaii Pacific University

Chaminade College

University of Hawaii Lab School

University of Hawaii at Manoa

Winward Community College

University of Hawaii

University of Qingdao

Pacific Raven Press

Favorite Color

Aquamarine