Bio

Lani

 


Kehaulani, aka Lani, aka Ishle Yi Park, is the first woman to become Poet Laureate of Queens. She is an award~winning poet, singer, hula dancer, surfer, certified yoga teacher, lomi lomi practitioner, and mommy.

Kehaulani means "morning dew from the heavens" ~ it is a name gifted to her from her first Kumu Hula ~ Kumu Healani Youn, Miss Aloha Hula 1986. She is of Corean ancestry (her name means morning dew in her mother tongue) ~ and both her daughters were born & are now being raised on the Hawai'ian islands. Her musical influences include Bob Marley, Jack Johnson, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Norah Jones, and Sade, among many others.

Over the past decade, Lani has traveled around the world, reading poetry, singing & playing music at over 300 music festivals, colleges, cafes & cultural venues in the United States, Cuba, Jamaica, Singapore, Aotearoa, North & South Korea and South Africa, at festivals such as the Auckland International Writers' Festival, SPLORE, the Parihaka Peace Festival, Calabash Literary & Arts Festival, Poetry Africa, the Singapore Writers' Festival, Yale University, Stanford University, Columbia University, New York University, the University of Santa Cruz, Berkley University, and many more.

She has organized readings & benefits to raise awareness about Korean Reunification, to support women in situations of domestic violence, to help victims of natural disasters, and to support the greening of our planet. One summer, she started a library with over 150 books donated to Indigo Skate Camp in Kwazulu-Natal, called the Indigo Lending Library. She is a sponsored artist of Element Skateboards, a company that supports independent, progressive artists, natural living, and has nature skate~camp retreats for children. 

In her career, she has been blessed to receive the Sister of Fire Award from the Women of Color Resource Center in California, a Poet Laureate title for the Borough of Queens, New York, a Certificate of Merit from John C. Liu at City Hall, New York, and was honored to have her birthday, May 24 become "Ishle Yi Park" day in Queens, New York, an honor given to her by Queens Borough President Helen Marshall.

Lani has been blessed to open for, perform with & share da stage with inspiring artists, poets & activists such as Yasiin Bey (Mos Def), Ben Harper, Sonia Sanchez, Joy Harjo, Hajjar Gibran (descendant of Khalil Gibran), Angela Davis, KRS~One, Saul Williams, Taiyo Na and Denizen Kane. She was blessed to be a touring cast member of Russell Simmon's Def Poetry Jam & tour 51 cities & New Zealand with a talented bus~full of poets (Beau Sia, Lemon, Suheir Hammad, Georgia Me, Black Ice, Flaco Navaja, Shihan, Bassey Ikpi &  DJ Reborn). 

Kehaulani's book of poetry & fiction, The Temperature of this Water, published by Kaya Press, was the recipient of 3 literary awards, including the Pen America Beyond Margins Award for Outstanding Writers of Color, and the Member's Choice Award of the Asian American Writers' Workshop, and is taught in colleges across the country.

The New York Times said, "she has the voice of an angel and the soul of a rock star."  Now rooted & settled on the Big Island of Hawai'i, she is living da dream, raising a beautiful tribe & finally following her lifelong passion for music and focusing on poetry, singing, songwriting & hula. 

Kehaulani is currently one of the top~ranked Singer Songwriters in Kailua~Kona and is working on an acoustic album. You can find her dancing hula on the Kona Oceanfront Plaza, & singing at various restaurants & hotels in Kailua~Kona, sharing the Hawai'ian & island culture with visitors through song.

Stay tuned for her book, Angel & Hannah, a novel in verse that will be published by One World Penguin Random House! 

If you want to fly Lani to your college, university, or high school to perform for your Asian American Month, Women's History Month,  Asian American Association, Multi~cultural Association, Women's Group, or International club, please contact: kehaulanimusic.com. She has years of experience with college audiences & is available to sing, read from her collection(s) of poetry, & facilitate workshops on everything from poetry, ukulele & guitar to sound healing mantras, hula, and yoga. 

For bookings, please contact kehaulanimusic@gmail.com.

Aloha & may peace be your Journey,

* namaste *