In partnership with the University of Hawaii Manoa, the Hawaii Book & Music Festival opens Friday and runs through Nov. 4.

The theme is “Hawaii 2.0 — Model for the Planet?” and the community-forum festival offers daily events with local, national and international authors, graphic novelists, poets, playwrights, music, media makers and storytellers.

After 14 years at the downtown Honolulu Civic Center, the festival relocated to the UH Manoa campus in 2020. Covid-19 forced the festival to an online format.

Hawaii Book & Music Festival guests
Hawaii Book & Music Festival featured speakers. HBMF

“Pivoting HBMF online provided us with an unexpected opportunity to expand our reach beyond the Islands,” said Executive Director Roger Jellinek in a press release, “and this year we have a number of outstanding international and national speakers, ranging from superstar photographer Dewitt Jones, to ‘Doughnut Economist’ Kate Raworth, to U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo, and not least, our own Polyfantastica by Solomon Enos, and more, in addition to a strong crop of local authors.”

Special features at this year’s festival include:

  • Kim Cobb — “Solving the Climate Crisis Now”
  • Dewitt Jones — “Celebrating What’s Right with the World”
  • Hawaii Literary Arts Council — 2021 Awards
  • Solomon Enos — “Polyfantastica”
  • Kate Raworth – “Doughnut Economics”
  • U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono — “Heart of Fire: An Immigrant Daughter’s Story”
  • Michael E. Mann — “The New Climate War: The Fight to Take Back Our Planet”
  • Charles Johnson — MacArthur Fellow and National Book Award winner on Buddhism and race, and other topics
  • Joy Harjo, U.S. Poet Laureate — Living Nations, Living Words
  • Hawaiian Culture — Maunakea, Nana I ke Kumu, Jamaica Osorio, “A Decolonial Guide to Hawaii”
  • 30 Hawaii Authors share their latest fiction, nonfiction, memoirs, graphic, poetry and plays
  • Sustainability for Hawaii 2.0; Climate Action Plans; Transforming Tourism, Circular Economics for Hawaii, and more
  • Wellness; Lessons for the Next Pandemic; Long Covid; Gender Inequities; Diversify to What?, Disparities of Cancer in Hawaii, and more
  • Innovation; Academy for Creative Media projects, Bitcoin solution for Hawaii Energy, Big Data Visualization, Institute for Astronomy, AI and the Future of Work

For the festival schedule, bios of all the 150 participants and program updates, visit and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram — @hawaiibookmusic and #HBMF2021.

In addition to its partnership with UH Manoa, the 2021 Hawaii Book & Music Festival is supported by HECO, Oceanit, Kamehameha Publishing, University of Hawaii Press, Bess Press, Hawaii Public Radio, Civil Beat, iHeartMedia and Hawaii Business Magazine.

The nonprofit festival is a free-admission event.

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