We are very excited to announce our featured guests this May-June 2013 for our bimonthly theme From Asia With Love – A Feast of Asian Literature.
Featured Book Artist: Naomi Kojima
Born in Japan, Naomi Kojima has divided her life between the United States and Japan. Her first two picture books, Mr. and Mrs. Thief and The Flying Grandmother were published in the United States, and were later published in Japan as translation. The Flying Grandmother was selected for the 50 best designed books of the year contest by the American Institute of Graphic Arts. She is the author and illustrator of many picture books, including Singing Shijimi Clams, and is the translator of Dear Genius, The Letters of Ursula Nordstrom. Her picture books have been published in Japan, United States, France, Sweden, and Indonesia.
Illustrator’s Sketchpad: Susanna Goho-Quek
Susanna trained and worked as a fashion designer until her marriage in 1971, then was a housewife until becoming an interior designer and artist in 1991. Susanna has written and illustrated an original children’s story book “God Is Hu?” A version of this book was produced using textures and Braille, for the visually handicapped. Most recently she has completed illustrations for the original fairy tale “A Single Tear” written by KK Seet. In her spare time she teaches children’s art at the National Geographic store in Kuala Lumpur. Her latest project is training refugee teenagers to become art instructors to preschool-age children.
Aunty Susanna was also our Guest Artist for my book club for young readers here in Singapore (Gathering Readers). Truly a passionate, vibrant, and dynamic spirit. She will be the Curator of the Book Illustrators Gallery for Asian Festival of Children’s Content this year.
Poet’s Sanctum: Kristian Jeff Cortez Agustin
Born in 1984, the Year of the Rat, and a ‘Cancerian’, he delves into art and poetry as an effective means of self-expression and learning. In 2012, Agustin accomplished his Master’s degree in Visual Culture at the University of Westminster, London in 2012, after completing his dissertation on ‘social media interventions in governance and subject formation’. In 2006, he obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Art Studies at the University of the Philippines, where he co-founded the Sirkulo ng mga Kabataang Artista (‘Circle of Young Artists’) in 2002 and served as its Artistic Director to date.
His recent collaborations include: calligraphy work in ‘Fishes of Light’ / ‘Peces de Luz’ (March 2013) by lauded Filipina writer Professor Marjorie Evasco and award-winning Cuban poet and dramatist Alex Fleites; his libretto ‘Ageless Passion’ (2011), a musicale for retired Philippine Chief Justice Artemio V. Panganiban with original music by Filipino Maestro Ryan Cayabyab; and his calligraphy, logo design and concept art for Earth.Ø (2012), a transmedia project in London conceptualized by Yen Ooi.
His debut collection of poetry + photography (in collaboration with other literary artists from London, Malaysia, Indonesia, New Zealand, and Manila) and portfolio of works are available online via www.universeandwords.com. He gained membership in The Poetry Society in 2012, a charitable institution in the UK promoting British and International poetry.
I have not met Jeff personally yet, but he came highly recommended by a very good friend of mine. I am looking forward to sharing a few of his poems for Poetry Friday this May/June.