Kathryn Waddell Takara, PhD, is the author of eight books of poetry, a biography, and a collection of oral histories. In 2010, she was honored with the American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation.
The owner and publisher of Pacific Raven Press, LLC, which has published 18 titles, she is a recognized scholar, celebrated intellectual, and performance artist.
Takara’s global travels are reflected in her work as footprints, phantasms, and wings to self-development, consciousness, and a call to conscience.
Born and raised in Tuskegee, Alabama, in the Jim Crow era, Takara is a long time resident of Hawai`i. She has organized major conferences on a variety of African American, Black Diaspora, and minority issues, with national and international scholars. Retired, she is an Associate Professor from the University of Hawai`i at Mānoa, where she developed and taught courses in African American and African history, politics, literature, and culture.
Takara earned her PhD in Political Science and an MA in French. An instructor of college-level French for over 10 years, she has given poetry readings in Bordeaux, France; Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire; and Niamey, Niger. In May 2017, she traveled to China for the eighth time to lecture and perform her poetry at Qingdao University and Beijing University of Foreign Studies. She has appeared in television programs and documentary films, and has given frequent interviews to publications and the media.
She was knighted into the Orthodox Order of St. John, Russian Grand Priory, in 2014. The Order, founded in 1036 is committed to community and international service and healing. Members, originally known as “hospitallers,” have included dignitaries and philanthropists of all faiths.
Takara seeks a balanced and aware life. She enjoys her family, friends, pets, travel, meditation, qigong, and taiji, and reading from her voluminous eclectic library. She also spends time gardening, raising orchids, cooking and writing. She delights in the aesthetics of interior design.