Sometimes it just takes a little fresh blood to energize an island literary community. 
Enter Jaimie Gusman, a UH grad student in poetry recently arrived from Seattle. Her monthly reading series at Mercury Bar, cheekily dubbed Mixed Innovative Arts (MIA), is injecting choice words into Chinatown’s arts scene while bridging the gap between the state’s authors, poets and performers.  
“The idea for M.I.A. is to build a community, not only for UH graduate students but for local musicians, writers, performers and visual artists,” says Gusman, who got the idea after volunteering at The Round performance series in Washington. “Variety is everything, and I think it’s important to showcase all genres.” 
Like bringing local small presses together to share their best work; spotlighting a jazz pianist, poet, short story writer and improv group on one night, and soon, importing mainland and international talent. This way, Gusman hopes, the artistic dividing line can be blurred through entertaining evenings of creative collaboration. 
Second Wednesdays, 7.30 pm, Mercury Bar, Chinatown, O’ahu, 808-292-9637 **Check here for summer updates.