"To those who love to read novels and live alternative lives. I see you at my slumber parties and I see you in my dreams. Without you, I am shouting into the void."

-- Dwight Okita
Dwight Okita is a novelist and poet in Chicago whose work often explores the wonders and horrors of modern life. The heroes and heroines in his books spring from the city where the author lives -- a city that is multicultural, lgbt-friendly, filled with quirky people of various conflicting beliefs and worldviews.

In his oft-reprinted poem, "In Response to Executive Order 9066," Okita writes about a Japanese American girl in high school who has an argument with her best friend the day before departing for an internment camp.

In his acclaimed soft sci-fi novel, THE HOPE STORE, two men who are lovers open the first store in the world to sell hope over the counter. One man hails from the world of science, the other from the world of marketing. Jada Upshaw, a charming, suicidal African American customer, sets out to expose the store as a sham.

Okita is very fond of contests and different creative worlds. He was a finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards, was long-listed by the Santa Fe Writers Project contest, named an "Author to Watch" by Best Indie Book Awards, participated in the HBO New Writers Showcase in Hollywood, won an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship for poetry and a Joseph Jefferson Citation for outstanding new work in theater, has performed essays like "Serotonin City" for WBEZ radio, and once appeared dressed as a chef on the Kellogg's Corn Flakes box.

A novelist primarily, but 
Dwight wears many hats.

A glance at the menu bar above tells you this is no ordinary author's website.  In addition to a button for BOOKS, there are also buttons for things that seem unrelated to the literary life.  ​​​​

There is a button for CUDDLING because Dwight has led a popular meetup group called Men Cuddling Men, now in its fifth year. Part of the growing Cuddle Movement, the group promotes therapeutic, platonic touch as a way to relax more deeply and interact more authentically. He is also a therapeutic touch practitioner with Cuddlist.com.  

There is a button for CAREGIVING because for over a year, Dwight has enjoyed working as a caregiver for seniors. He provides companionship and care for a range of clients who are in their later years dealing with various physical and cognitive challenges. He loves the job because it uses so many of his skills -- as a nurturer, empathic listener, hands-on caregiver, computer whiz, personal assistant,  creative writer, companion, calm dude in the middle of any storm.
  
There is a button for WEB DESIGN because Dwight loves technology and graphic design.  He especially enjoys creating sites that capture and reflect the personality, brand and spirit of each individual. And what they offer to the world in terms of products, services, talents. (Dwight designed this website using WebsiteBuilder, the latest smart software of Homestead.com, a vendor which he's used for the past fifteen years.)