University of Hawaii

MMS Faculty

Frances H. Kakugawa

Frances H. Kakugawa, a graduate of the University of Hawai‘i, was born in Kapoho on the Big Island of Hawai‘i, destroyed by Kilauea volcano. She did her reading in out-houses and by kerosene lamps; she used her pen to get out of a place she mistakenly thought had nothing to offer dream seekers.

Frances is an award winning internationally published poet/author of more than a dozen books. Three of her books are on aging and caregiving, one of which is written for children and now an animated film.  She writes a monthly Dear Frances advice column for caregivers in the Hawai’i Herald and is featured in Talks with Frances in Oceanic Time Warner/Core Group One iAGE TV channel.  She taught in Michigan, Hawai‘i and Micronesia and served as a teacher trainer and curriculum writer and lecturer for the University of Hawai‘i.

Frances was recognized in Living Legacy, Outstanding Women of the 20th Century in Hawai‘i and received the Hawai‘i - Pacific Gerontology Society Award for her work with the elderly. This Fall, here on Oahu, she will be honored at the Wellness IV Conference with the Puaka‘Ana O Ka La award from the Sunrise Ministry Foundation for her contributions toward the physical, mental and spiritual wellness of our community.  She will give the keynote address: "The Healing Power of Voice and Silence."

Frances was a caregiver for her mother who had Alzheimer’s disease and now devotes her time to giving keynote addresses, workshops and readings throughout the U.S. on caregiving, teaching, poetry, and writing.  She facilitates two writing support groups: Poetry support group for caregivers and a Memoir Writing group in Sacramento where she now resides.  On a personal level, she dreams of sitting across from Charlie Rose and seeing a poet-in-residence in medical schools and hospitals.


Back to Faculty Listing