Poet Cassandra DeGraff

Cassandra has been a Nail Technician working in salons and spa’s for the last 16 years.  She is Mother to 4 children ages 31-15 years old.  She grew up in a house full of artists and writers.  She moved from Key West, Florida to Saint Augustine, Florida in 2014 and has been a member of the Ancient City Poets since 2015.

About the PAM Jam collaboration, she says, “I was paired with Joyce Hutchinson for PAM JAM. We set up a meeting in early January to have dinner and get to know each other and found we have common experiences and talents.  We both attended the first PAM Jam Participant Party at Butterfield Garage Art Gallery in January 2020 and decided on an idea/theme for our collaboration. Since then, we have stayed in touch. I have sent Joyce rough drafts of poetry and she has sent me the beginnings and progress of her paintings to express in my writing.  It has been a pleasure and a great experience getting to know Joyce and to work on this project together.” 

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Artist Joyce Hutchinson

Imagination is the key to the images Joyce creates as art. Links of expression and spiritual flight, with the freedom of experimentation, shaping diverse images containing elements of nature, breathe life into her art. In her reality, being an artist, owner and instructor of her own private art school for 20 years, a self-published poet and writer, has made it a challenging balance to maintain.

Joyce’s art, focuses on experimenting and creating images that are very diverse but always containing elements of nature pleasing to the eye. Her subject matter varies as widely as her passions; historical decorative designs, to the realism of florals in oil, acrylic, watercolor, color pencil, and graphite. The love of painting and writing envelop her, and her need to express all of her thoughts and visions, is always a welcomed adventure. People have often referred to her as a “Gypsy of the Arts”, always loving her journey. Her style incorporates a wandering freedom to create diverse images, sharing the awareness of how art and nature can blend harmoniously.  Her mission is to not let people forget the “WHY” of what humanity really means, and it starts with preserving nature in all its variations of grandeur.

Joyce says, “My creative process is very simple, I have an idea, in this case after reading my collaboration colleague, Cassandra’s poems and our discussions, we came up with a unifying theme and then I started with sketches. Once I had all my supplies as they came together, I just drew my sketch on the canvas and the colors flowed naturally from my imagination and you see the end-product.

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Musician David Coogan


David is an Associate Professor of English at Virginia Commonwealth University and the author of “Writing Our Way Out: Memoirs from Jail”, the creative culmination of a writing class in which ten men explore the conditions, traps, and turning points on their paths to imprisonment as well as the redemptive power of memoir.

Spare time? Music! David plays percussion for this pairing and piano on another PAM Jam video.


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