Lisa Linn Kanae was born and raised in Kapahulu, Oahu, and is of Hawaiian, Chinese, Japanese, and Filipino descent. She left a job as an executive secretary to pursue literature, earning both a BA and an MA from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. She is the author of the chapbook Sista Tongue (2003), a hybrid work that collages poetry and prose, English and Pidgin and weaves together personal narrative and the social history of Pidgin. Kristin Kaelinani Gonzales designed the book’s innovative font and graphic style. Sista Tongue has been required reading for courses at the University of Texas, Lewis & Clark College, Willamette College, and others. Kanae is also the author of the short story collection Islands Linked by Ocean (2009).

In 2010, Kanae received the Cades Emerging Writer Award for Literature. She teaches at Kapiʻolani Community College and is the editorial assistant for ‘Ōiwi: A Native Hawaiian Journal.

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