Jasmin Iolani Hakes
Photo Credit: John Taylor
Jasmin Iolani Hakes was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii. She is the product of the many peoples who moved to the islands to work the land and sea. Her father moved from Venice Beach to Hilo in the 70's to fish and surf, where he met and married her mother, a descendant of Filipino, Portuguese, and Puerto Rican immigrants who have been a part of Hawaii’s diverse community for generations.
Dance has always been central to Jasmin's life and creativity. She took her first hula class when she was four years old and danced for the esteemed Halau o Kekuhi and the Tahitian troupe Hitia O Te Ra. She would later partially put herself through college as a professional luau dancer. Her other odd jobs included shelving books at the Hilo Public Library, cleaning houses, TSA agent at the Kona Airport, and lei greeter.
Jasmin left the islands and worked in politics as well as the nonprofit world, raising her children in various cities and continents.
Her essays have appeared in the Los Angeles Times and the Sacramento Bee. She is the recipient of the Best Fiction award from the Southern California Writers Conference, a Community of Writers LoJo Foundation Scholarship, a Writing by Writers Emerging Voices fellowship, and a Hedgebrook residency. HULA is her first novel.
She currently lives in California but returns home every chance she gets (you can take the girl out of the islands, but never the islands out of the girl!)
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Books:Hula, May 2023
Hardcover / e-Book