Carolyn Lei-Lanilau

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Carolyn Lei-Lanilau
Native name
Carolyn Leilani Yu Zhen Lau
LanguageEnglish, Hawaiian, Hakka, Hawaiian, French, Latin,
Alma materSan Francisco State University (MA)
Notable worksOno Ono Girl's Hula, Wode Shuofa: My Way of Speaking

Carolyn Leilani Yu Zhen Lau (aka Carolyn Lau) (born 1946 Honolulu, Hawaii) is an American poet.


Lei-Lanilau is Hawaiian of Hakka ancestry.

She graduated from San Francisco State University with an M.A. in English. She also studied Chinese philosophy. She is an educator who teaches poetry and movement to bilingual Chinese and Southeast Asian immigrant children.[1]

Her work appeared in The Bloomsbury Review, The American Poetry Review, Manoa, Yellow Silk, Zyzzyva,[2] and Calyx.

She lectured at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and at West O'ahu, Tianjin Foreign Languages Institute in Hexi District, Tianjin China, and California State University, East Bay.

She divides her time between Oakland, California,[3] and Honolulu.[4]


  • 1988 American Book Award, for Wode Shuofa: My Way of Speaking
  • California Arts Council Fellowship


  • Wode Shuofa: My Way of Speaking. Tooth of Time Books. 1988. ISBN 978-0-940510-15-9.
  • Ono Ono Girl's Hula. University of Wisconsin Press. 1997. ISBN 978-0-299-15634-3. Carolyn Lei-Lanilau.



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