Alesi Kamakanaokalani Meyers-Tuimavave: A Journey Through Poetry and Education
Alesi Kamakanaokalani Meyers-Tuimavave: Inspiring Through Poetry
Alesi Kamakanaokalani Meyers-Tuimavave has been writing poetry her entire life. Her inspiration soared after encountering the work of Samoan poet Terisa Siagatonu. Alesi plans to read one of her own poems at the upcoming MiraCosta College commencement ceremony.
Alesi has a diverse ethnic background that includes Samoan, Hawaiian, German, Japanese, Black, and Chinese heritage. She has been an active member of the Mana Club, an organization for Pacific Islander and Asian-American students. Her Creative Writing instructor, Jade Hidle, introduced her to Siagatonu’s work.
"I fell in love with her work," said Alesi. "She addresses Pacific Islander issues and tackles stigmas in our cultures, like racism against Black people—topics often left unspoken."
The Poem: Unity
Inspired by Siagatonu, Alesi penned a poem titled "Unity" which she will read at the commencement ceremony. "The poem expresses my sense of unity with diverse communities and individuals," Alesi shared. "It's a reminder that although we may feel isolated at times, we are never truly alone."
Academic and Career Aspirations
Alesi is graduating from MiraCosta College with an associate degree in English literature. She will continue her studies at Cal State San Marcos in the fall. Her ambition is to earn a doctorate and become an English professor specializing in Pacific Island literature. She also aims to continue her poetic journey and hopes to write books in the future.
"Poetry is my safe space," Alesi admitted. "I struggle with public speaking, but poetry helps me articulate my feelings perfectly."
A Meeting to Remember
Recently, Alesi had the opportunity to meet Terisa Siagatonu through a Zoom conference organized for her club. Alesi expressed how Siagatonu's writing had deeply influenced her. "It was an emotional moment; we both cried. It was really cool," Alesi recounted.