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  • Hawaiʻi Slam Poetry - Kealoha's poetry film screening on 4 islands: "The Story of Everything" (Hawaiʻi International Film Festival)

November: Kealoha's poetry film screening on 4 islands: "The Story of Everything" (Hawaiʻi International Film Festival)

Kealoha, the first Poet Laureate of Hawaiʻi, founder of Hawaiʻi Slam, and MIT Nuclear Physics graduate, will show his life’s work on the big screen on 4 islands: Oʻahu (Nov. 4th @ Bishop Museum’s Great Lawn), Hawaiʻi Island (Nov. 18th @ Palace Theater), Maui (Nov. 19th @ Maui Arts & Cultural Center), and Kauaʻi (Nov. 20th @ Waimea Theatre). The Story of Everything film (TSOE), produced by the Engaging the Senses Foundation, is an official selection of the 2022 Hawaiʻi International Film Festival (HIFF). These are one-time showings for the islands, and tickets are
available on the HIFF website by clicking here. The Oʻahu screening will also feature live pre-show performances with Makana (guitar virtuoso), Kauʻi Kanakaʻole (kumu hula), and Kealoha.

TSOE is an epic multimedia exploration of the origins of life, consciousness, and existence! The 1-hour and 45 minute film is a 13.8 billion year journey through the Big Bang, the stars, our solar system, our planet, our evolution, our ancestral migration, and an investigation about where we’re going and how we can impact our beautiful Earth for the better. Enhanced with stunning footage from NASA, National Geographic, and the BBC, this film is poetry like you’ve never seen it before! TSOE features visual art by Solomon Enos, music by Taimane, the Quadraphonix, and Makana, oli presented by Kauʻi Kanakaʻole, and dancing by Jamie Nakama, Jonathan Clarke Sypert, and Jory Horn. TSOE is produced and presented by the Engaging the Senses Foundation to support their public charitable work and their mission to encourage positive social change through illuminating the intersection of the universal language of poetry, the arts, and mindfulness.

View the film trailer (please enable "Display Images" in email):


WHAT: The Story of Everything film (

WHERE & WHEN (*Note: all film screenings will be followed by a Q&A with Kealoha):

-- Oʻahu, November 4th @ 7pm: Bishop Museum (Great Lawn outdoor show, food trucks on-site, bring a blanket or lawn chair). Pre-show live performances @ 5:30pm by Makana (guitar virtuoso), Kauʻi Kanakaʻole (kumu hula), and Kealoha
-- Hawaiʻi Island, November 18th @ 6pm: Palace Theatre in Hilo
-- Maui, November 19th @ 7:30pm: Maui Arts & Cultural Center
-- Kauaʻi, November 20th @ 7pm: Waimea Theater

COST: ~$10-$15 general admission depending on location (discounts available for students, seniors, and military). Get your tickets through the
HIFF website here

More Details

“The Story of Everything” is an original creation story told in epic poem format. It explores the question “Where do we come from?” Through this work, the poet will dramatize explanations for human origin, drawing from sources as diverse and yet interconnected as the Big Bang Theory, disco, astrophysics, evolution, world music/dance, climate change, and the Kumulipo (the sacred 18th century Hawaiian creation chant). It will explore how various cultural elements and scientific disciplines can be used to approach a question about existence that has challenged humans from the very beginning. Kealoha’s performance traces the beginning of life from simple forms that evolve into complex relationships, and ends with a provocation: “Where do we go from here? What’s next?” From Kealoha: "I have spent over a decade of my life dedicated to The Story of Everything, but have spent my whole life preparing for it. We are so excited to bring it to the big screen!! By fusing science, storytelling, poetry, music, dance, chant, visual art, and mesmerizing imagery in this film, we strive to give our audiences an epic ride that celebrates our origins and our place in the cosmos. We also strive to bring hope for our future in this wondrous universe."


Kealoha is the first Poet Laureate of Hawaiʻi. As an internationally acclaimed poet and storyteller, he has performed throughout the world -- from the White House to the ʻIolani Palace, from Brazil to Switzerland. He is the first poet in Hawaiʻi's history to perform at a governor's inauguration, was selected as a master artist for a National Endowment for the Arts program, and delivered the keynote address for MIT’s special commencement ceremony in 2022. In the 7 years that he has represented Hawaiʻi at the National Poetry Slam, he has performed on the finals stage 4 times, was ranked in the top ten of the nations best poets in 2007, and was honored as a "National Poetry Slam Legend" in 2010. Kealoha was featured on HBO’s Brave New Voices series, and he has also made appearances on NBC, PBS, the Food Network, National Public Radio, and the Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards. He has performed at hundreds of live venues throughout the world including the Schiffbau (Zürich, Switzerland), the Bienal do Ibirapuera (São Paulo, Brazil), the NFL Pro Bowl halftime show, and the National Storytelling Network Conference. Kealoha is the founder of Hawaiʻi Slam (ranked 2nd in the nation in 2015), Youth Speaks Hawaiʻi (2-Time International Champions), and First Thursdays (the largest registered poetry slam in the world with 400+ in attendance). He graduated with honors from MIT with a degree in Nuclear Engineering (and a minor in writing), served as a business consultant in San Francisco, and played around as a surf instructor prior to becoming a professional poet in 2002.

Engaging the Senses Foundation is an educationally oriented non-profit focused on
collaborative partnerships, educational programs and filmmaking which illuminate the
intersection of the arts and mindfulness, with a particular focus on the universal language of

Hawaiʻi Slam has been dedicated to showcasing poetry from the islands since 2003. We are currently taking a break from hosting Hawaiʻi Slam's First Thursdays shows. When we have notable Hawaiʻi Slam news, we will notify you by email. Mahalo for your support through the years!

The Story of Everything Film |

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  • Kealoha - Poet and Storyteller
    Kealoha is an internationally acclaimed poet and storyteller. He is the first poet in Hawai`i's history to perform at a governor's inauguration, and in 2010 he was selected as a master artist for a National Endowment for the Arts program.

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