Dear Writers

Dear Writers

Dear Writers,

I have been thinking a lot about community lately: what it means to be a community of writers. To hear each other, to hold each other up, to stand in each others’ darkness unafraid, to turn up the volume on each other’s voices.  This year, perhaps because I lost my father this summer, and I am breaking my ties to my childhood and my first home, I am thinking about the families we choose. The ones we create.

And I am grateful.  For my families – all of them. And my writer friends, who never cease to amaze me with their fresh perspectives, their soaring optimism; who remind me that what I have always thought was axiomatic is actually just someone else’s opinion.  In these dark times – when so much of that darkness has fallen on us personally, not just as a society, and as a nation struggling to be – I am still grateful.  And I am optimistic because of you.  Because of all the glorious love and courage you scream out, dance out, whisper into the blue skies of the Big Island when we are together.  And in dog-walking Brooklyn.  And beneath the icicles of Vermont, and on the shores of Port Townsend, or Useless Bay on Whidbey island,  or wherever I have encountered you.

You writers.

And so, today – Giving Tuesday – for one day only, I am giving back.  Doing my part to facilitate a community of writers on the island that is my childhood home.  Elena and I are giving a $200 discount to any writer who applies to join the 2018 retreat on Tuesday. So if you want to join us for our third year, NOW is the best time.

Looking forward to hearing from you.



Join us in 2018

Join us in 2018

Enjoy this video of our 2017 memories and imagine yourself escaping to Hawaii in the cold!  2018 dates are February 28-March 6th.  Flights are discounted for the offseason, so the time to act is now!  We invite you to poke around on the website and apply.

Deadline December 4, 2017.

(With thanks to our photographer extraordinaire, Micael Storm Blue)

Pele’s Fire Memories

Pele’s Fire Memories

“Honestly, I was surprised at just how amazing this retreat was. I expected it to be great, of course, but there is something about this place that opened all of us to possibility, new ideas and joy.  Of course, Hawaii is my home, and working with writers is my intellectual home – a calling that feeds my soul.  But I did not expect to be dancing in the line for dinner or sleeping so deeply to the sounds of the night.  It was a privilege to be a part of this retreat, and when the community of writers insisted that it should happen again in 2017, well, there was no argument from us.  Here’s a video of what it was like for us through the images of Rose Sabangan (with the addition of an image from the current eruption that shows what it’s like right now).  Join us this year! We’d love to have you.”

– Reiko


To Whet Your Appetite

To Whet Your Appetite

Many thanks to Rose Sabangan who took out her phone to photograph her breakfast!

Here’s what the morning looks like at Pele’s Fire:

Fresh fruit Breakfast

Papaya and pineapple every day!


Eggs and sausage breakfast

Not your usual eggs and sausage.


Purple yam breakfast

Purple yams, black beans, rice, baked eggs and Portuguese sausage. I can’t remember what the porridge was, but it was good!