University of Hawai‘i Press was highlighted at the annual Ka Palapala Po‘okela Awards gala on May 6 at the Mission Houses Museum, when its director, William Hamilton, was honored with the John Dominis Holt Award for Excellence in Publishing. As the longest serving director of UH Press and only the third during its 64-year history, Hamilton now marks a career of 41 years in publishing, with 24 years of that at the university.
To date, Hamilton has licensed subrights for about 300 UH Press titles to approximately 65 publishers in 25 countries. UH Press books can be found in 24 languages due to these efforts and over 1,200 titles are available as e-books, primarily through libraries. He is currently spearheading an initiative by the Press to expand its e-book offerings.
The Ka Palapala Po‘okela Awards are presented by the Hawai‘i Book Publishers Association to recognize the best books published in Hawai‘i during the previous year. In addition to the Holt Award, books published by UH Press receiving accolades this year include A Photographic Guide to the Birds of Hawai‘i: The Main Islands and Offshore Waters, by respected bird photographer Jim Denny, which won the Award of Excellence in Natural Science. Receiving the honorable mention in the same category was Hawaiian Birds of the Sea: Nā Manu Kai, by conservation biologist Robert J. Shallenberger, currently Hawai‘i Island conservation director for the Nature Conservancy and vice-president of the Hawai‘i Wildlife Center. The revised edition of Regulating Paradise: Land Use Controls in Hawai‘i, by William S. Richardson School of Law professor David L. Callies, tied for honorable mention in the Text or Reference Books category; and The Value of Hawaiʻi: Knowing the Past, Shaping the Future, edited by Craig Howes and Jonathan Osorio, earned an honorable mention in the Nonfiction category. Dr. Howes is director at the Center for Biographical Research and Dr. Osorio is professor at Kamakakūokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies at University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.
The trophy for the Samuel M. Kamakau Award for Hawai‘i Book of the Year went to Polynesia: The Mark and Carolyn Blackburn Collection of Polynesian Art, by Adrienne L. Kaeppler, curator of Oceanic ethnology at the Smithsonian Institution, distributed for the Blackburns by UH Press. The stunning book also won the Award of Excellence in the category of Illustrative or Photographic Books and its designer, Barbara Pope Book Design, was the winner in the Design category.
University of Hawai‘i Press is a UH Mānoa academic support unit, founded in 1947 by the Board of Regents. Since then it has grown to be the world’s leading publisher of Asian and Pacific studies. It is the publisher of the bestselling Korean language textbook series in the U. S. and has a global network of publishing partners.