Monday, April 22, 2019

Episode 13: Gregory Phillips

This episode takes us to Los Angeles where I got a chance to talk to Dr. Gregory Phillips.  It was his exquisite photography that caught my eye and prompted me to reach out him.  You will be amazed, just as I was, when I learned he has lived a rich life and the courage it took for him to stand for his conviction as an artist with a vision.

Dr. Gregory Phillips profile pic
Dr. Gregory Phillips is a former English professor, who six years ago decided to leave teaching and pursue his life as an artist. He was living and teaching in Minnesota and woke up one cold, winter day and decided to move to Los Angeles to chase his dream to be an actor. That summer, he packed his car and headed west. It was the best decision he's ever made, he said. He's also a writer and photographer. In terms of his photography, it started as a hobby, some fifteen years ago. Shortly after starting, it became clear that he has an eye. Photography for him is a way to document the things he sees. When he first started making pictures, his subjects were mainly flowers, in color. One day, he started shooting black and white and a new world opened up for him. His hope is that when people see his photos, they have the same reaction: be moved and understand that no matter how dark the moment may be, there's always light. 

You can contact him and see more of his photos by following him on his Instagram: @cgregoryp

 black and white photo of an alley way
black and white photograph of a Japanese garden and foot bridgeblack and white photograph of women on a cobble street
black and white photograph of a man in a restaurant boothblack and white photograph of a drug addict squatting on the floor of a bathroomblack and white photograph of rustic park benches

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Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Episode 12: Floyd Takeuchi

Floyd K. Takeuchi

This episode takes us to Hawaii where I talk to photographer and writer, Floyd K. Takeuchi, about his beginnings as a photographer and writer, and his artistic philosophy on creating beautiful images of the people and places of Micronesia, Oceania, and the Pacific region.
profile pic of photographer, Floyd K. Takeuchi
Floyd K. Takeuchi is a writer-photographer who specializes in Hawaii, Japan and Oceania. He has had five solo photo exhibits in Japan and 15 shows, mostly solo exhibits, in Honolulu, Hawaii. He was awarded “Best in Show” in one of Hawaii’s largest juried photo exhibits. A collection of his photographs was acquired by the College of Micronesia-FSM as part of that college’s 25th anniversary last year. He has also had commissions to photograph in the Federated States of Micronesia and Marshall Islands for new hotel developments in those island nations. Floyd has also spent more than four decades working as a journalist and media executive in Hawaii, Guam, Fiji and Japan. He has published four books based on his photography and writing, along with an e-book that includes more than 30 videos of the best dancers in Oceania performing at the Festival of Pacific Arts. An American with degrees from Boston University and the University of Hawaii, Floyd was born and raised in the Marshall Islands, and his family lived on Saipan, in the Northern Mariana Islands, for nearly 20 years.

Instagram: @fktakeuchi

 Artist’s Statement; Floyd K. Takeuchi

After leading two media companies through the unchartered waters following the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the 2009 Great Recession, I decided I was past due for an infusion of creativity, to remember why I became a journalist 42 years ago. And that was to tell stories that help people better understand the world around them. This time, I rely on a camera to tell those stories. And I made the decision to focus on stories that showcased beauty, physical and spiritual; that honored traditions; and, which emphasized cultural values of the Pacific region. I’ve followed that standard in nearly every large, small, commercial and personal photography project I’ve taken on over the past decade. Whether it’s been documenting the behind the scenes life of a hula halau or school for nearly two years, roaming the side streets of Tokyo searching for signs of solitude and peace in one of the world’s most frenetic cities, or as I have in recent weeks, traveling by small planes and boats in the outer atolls of the Marshall Islands to do portraits of the master weavers who are reviving one that nation’s great cultural and artistic traditions, I try to remain true to my artistic values: search out beauty; honor traditions; and, respect diverse cultural values.
Here are some of the great photos by Floyd K. Takeuchi(Note: images are copyrighted by Floyd K. Takeuchi).

"Halau - A Life in Hula"

women dancing hulawoman teaching hulaphoto of hula skirtsmale dancers preparing for performancehula dancer number onehula dancer number two


color photo of dancers praying before performanceman with auntiesman with his peopleman with stickwoman dancer in airyoung micronesian women

"Xavier High School: School on the Hill"

girl with boy behind her at the chalk boardgirl with teacher behind herkids fighting over chalk boardgirl in chemistry labblack and white photo of clouds and sea

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Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Episode 11: Aileen Cassinetto and Ivy Alvarez

Listen to this week's lively session with two featured guests at the same time!  Two fabulous Filipina poets: Aileen I. Cassinetto (Poet Laureate of San Mateo County, CA) & Ivy Alvarez (Auckland, New Zealand)!
Aileen I. Cassinetto is the third Poet Laureate of San Mateo County, the first Asian American appointed to the post. She is the author of Traje de Boda (Meritage Press, 2010) and The Pink House of Purple Yam Preserves & Other Poems (Our Own Voice & Little Dove Books, 2018), as well as three chapbooks through Moria Books’ acclaimed Locofo series. She is also co-publisher of Paloma Press, an independent literary press established in 2016. 

Ivy Alvarez's profile pic
Ivy Alvarez is a Fellow of MacDowell Colony (US), and Hawthornden (UK). Her work is widely published and anthologised, including two appearances in the Best Australian Poems series. 

With poems translated into Russian, Spanish, Japanese, and Korean, she is a three-time Pushcart Prize nominee, and a recipient of grants from Creative New Zealand, Literature Wales, and the Australia Council for the Arts.

She is also a mentor for the New Zealand Society of Authors’ Youth Mentorship Programme; an editor for the NZ Poetry Society’s magazine, a fine line; a guest co-editor for Verity La.’s Discoursing Diaspora; and a former international editor for the first Aotearoa New Zealand edition of Atlanta Review

Born in the Philippines and raised in Australia, Ivy Alvarez lived in Scotland, Ireland and Wales, before moving to Auckland, New Zealand in 2014.
Ivy Alvarez's book jacket "Diaspora"

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Monday, April 1, 2019

Episode 10: Jo Reyes-Boitel

Jo Reyes-Boitel is a poet, essayist and playwright. Listen to us discuss her new book "Michael + Josephine: a novel in verse" and as she explains how she got the inspiration for the book, how she got her start in writing and performance art, and why she helps other aspiring writers in her community. 
Jo Reyes-Boitel's book reviews
Jo Reyes-Boitel received her BA at University of Texas at San Antonio and she received her Bachelor’s in American Studies in 2007 where she focused on ethnic music expressions within dominant culture.  Her publications include Scalawag Journal (forthcoming), Windward Review (forthcoming), La Voz de Esperanza, Chachalaca Review, San Antonio Express-News, Dismantle (a VONA anthology) and Borderlands, to name a few.

Her performances include a one-woman performance piece, “this body” at W-I-P (Work In Progress), at Jump-start Performance Company, February 2019,“Nahual”, a one act play, written and directed for World Theater Day 2014, with one night only performance at Palo  Alto Community College and  "This is a Manifesto" workshop and performance under Virginia Grise at Jump-Start Performance Company, January 2018.
Jo Reyes-Boitel's book cover of "Michael + Josephine"
You can order her book at "Michael + Josephine: a novel in verse" Amazon which was published by FlowerSong Books, and you can read more about her, her work and her upcoming events at 

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