Spoken word, Musical Artist


Who is Kealoha?

Kealoha is the first Poet Laureate of Hawaii and the first poet to perform at a Hawaii governor’s inauguration. He is an internationally acclaimed poet and storyteller who has performed throughout the world from the White House to ‘Iolani Palace and including hundreds of live venues. In 2010, he was honored as a "National Slam Legend" at the National Poetry Slam and was selected as a master artist for a National Endowment for the Arts program. In the genre of storytelling, he has gained national recognition by showcasing at events such as the National Storytelling Network Conference, the Bay Area Storytelling Festival, and the Honolulu Storytelling Festival.

He is of multi-ethnic heritage with Hawaiian, Chinese, and Caucasian descent. With a degree in Nuclear Engineering from MIT in 1999, Kealoha has developed a poetic style that combines analysis with creative writing to investigate social, personal, and philosophical themes. He is the founder of HawaiiSlam, First Thursdays, and Youth Speaks Hawai`i.

His best known work is the performance poem Dichotomy, an identity piece that demonstrates conflicting arguments within the Native Hawaiian community. Written in 2004, Dichotomy has been used in classrooms throughout the state of Hawaii to spark debate and dialogue within Hawai`i's youth. Dichotomy debuted outside of Hawai`i in 2007 at the National Poetry Slam, helping Kealoha to place 8th individually out of over 350 of the world's best slam poets.

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  • United States of America
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology

on July 23, 2013


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