Poet Michael Henry Lee

Photo by Tucker Joenz

Michael Henry Lee is an internationally published, award winning Japanese poetry stylist working primarily in the traditions of haiku, senryu, haibun and haiga. His work has been translated into Japanese, Chinese, Polish, German and Russian, and regularly appears in Bottle Rockets, Cattails, Failed Haiku, Frogpond, Heron’s Nest, Prune Juice, World Haiku Review and The Mainichi Times among others.  

Lee’s second book Against the Grainwon an honorary mention in the 2013 Mildred Kanterman Memorial Merit Book Awards. 2020 will be Michael’s third year as the Southeast Regional Coordinator for the Haiku Society of America. He is one of the founding members of both the Ancient City Poets and The Coquina Haiku Circle.

Lee believes haiku is a distillation of images, emotions, and words.  Creating a good poem requires a stillness of mind, along with a keen awareness of the world, our relationship to it, and to one another.

Lee explains: “When I was asked to participate in PAM JAM, being paired with Nancy Hamlin-Vogler seemed a natural connection. Nancy’s paintings and my poetry are the perfect complements. Accessing an online collection of Nancy’s work, I found several images that resonated with me and created a number of poems for each one. Working together, we quickly reviewed and easily decided on the appropriate pairings.”

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Artist Nancy Hamlin-Vogler

Nancy’s passion for contemporary art is evident in her more recent works on paper, rendering still life, figurative, and landscape subjects in her signature intuitive-observational-gestural style. Her favorite mixed medium materials are acrylics, charcoal, pastels, oil paints and pasted rice paper and silk-screened elements.  

The abstracted content of her work reflects her worldwide back-packing travels, summer vacations in Cape Cod and Maine, and her studies and practice in Buddhism. A diverse two-dimensional artist, Nancy works in her backyard studio, near the Fountain of Youth in Saint Augustine, Florida.

She launched her greeting card company, Eastern Sun Printworks, while taking printmaking classes during graduate school in Maine, where she earned an M.A. in French Literature. Infatuated with the silkscreen printing process, she designed a line of greeting cards and printed each one by hand. Thirty-five years later, her iconic card images are sold in stores nationwide and sought after by card aficionados. The images have been converted to digital format and are now professionally printed with archival pigmented inks. Her designs have received five Louie Finalist Awards.

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Musician Soy Blanco

Soy Blanco began playing ukulele and guitar in the 1960s.  At the age of 32, he began performing professionally in reggae bands.  He has performed guitar and vocals with Pili-Pili for over 20 years, and has also played with Chameleon, Neighborhood Watch, Mash Up Crew, Third Light, Mystic Dino and the Reggae Swat Team, Eyes of Reggae, Night Nurse and Sailor Jane.

Reggae performer and record producer Mikey Dread told Soy he was the “best reggae guitarist he had heard since he left Jamaica”.  Reggae Legend Nicodemus said “Soy's guitar playing is reminiscent of the Roots Radic's Bingy Bunny”.

Soy plays reggae mostly in North Florida but has done shows in Atlanta, Beaufort, South Carolina, Tampa, Pensacola, Key West and Miami. He has also performed in the Bahamas, Mexico, Grand Cayman Islands, and Jamaica with Pili-Pili. Soy resides with his wife and dog in Saint Augustine, Florida and continues to play reggae shows. 

Original Songs on this Video: Tranquillo & Scratchy

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