Originally from Charleston, S.C., Stuart Coleman is a writer, teacher and surfer. In the 7th grade, he took a unique course called “Cultures of the Pacific,” and that’s when he began dreaming about living in Hawaii some day. After graduating from the University of South Carolina’s Honors College, Coleman moved to Los Angeles in search of bigger surf and better career opportunities. In L.A., he worked as an arts editor for an entertainment magazine. Returning to the East Coast in 1991, he studied at American University’s Creative Writing Program and received an MFA degree. During that time, he also became the Writer-in-Residence at St. Alban’s School. In 1993, Coleman finally realized his dream of moving to Hawaii when he landed a job at Punahou School in Honolulu.
• Writer •
As a writer, Coleman has been published in numerous publications, including Men’s Journal, Salon.com, Sierra Magazine, Spirituality & Health, The Surfer’s Journal, The Washington Post, USA Today, Huffington Post, Honolulu Magazine, Hawaii Magazine and Charleston Magazine. Coleman has won a number of writing honors, including U.S.C.’s Waring Award for Creative Writing and the The Cades Award for Literature and the Excellence in Non-Fiction Award from the Hawaii Book Publishers Association. His poems have been published in journals like The Atlanta Review, The Formalist and Yemassee, who gave him their Poetry Award. Coleman is the author of the award-winning book Eddie Would Go (MindRaising Press, 2002, St. Martin’s Press, 2004) and Fierce Heart (St. Martin’s Press, 2009).
• Teacher •
For more than a decade, Coleman taught creative writing and literature at Punahou School and Iolani School and then at the University of Hawaii. From 2004-2009, he worked as the Service Learning and Leadership Coordinator at the East-West Center, working with graduate students from across the Asia-Pacific region. He also served as the Director of Communication at an educational non-profit called College Connections Hawaii and later served on its Board of Directors.
• Eddie Would Go •
While teaching at Punahou School, Coleman met former faculty members Peter Cole and Fred Van Dyke, two pioneers of big-wave surfing. Through them, he was introduced to the Aikau’s, one of Hawaii’s most well-known families. Although many writers and film companies like Disney had contacted the family about books and movies on Eddie’s life, the Aikau’s had not endorsed any of them until working with Coleman. They generously gave Coleman in-depth interviews and shared painful memories about their brother. During four years of research and writing, Coleman discovered rare and intriguing stories about Eddie and the tumultuous period of the Hawaiian Renaissance. Coleman conducted over forty interviews with respected figures in Hawaii and the surfing world and was honored to have been entrusted with Eddie Aikau’s amazing life and legacy.
• Pro-activist •
In 2009, Coleman became the first Hawaii Coordinator of the Surfrider Foundation, an environmental non-profit dedicated to protection and enjoyment of the world’s oceans, waves and beaches. He is an avid environmentalist and helped to pass bills making Hawaii the first state to ban single-use plastic bags. Many of his recent articles tackle issues of sustainability, marine plastic pollution, responsible coastal management and preservation of our coastal areas. He believes that environmental activists need to be more proactive in their approach, not only opposing bad development projects but also offering positive solutions that are good for the environment and the economy. Along with his work at Surfrider, Coleman is also working of a new project called The Fourth Wave, a book and festival that bring together spiritual ecology, social entrepreneurship and the quadruple bottom line of People, Planet, Prosperity and Culture.