“Of Butterflies And Bees”
It’s true that summer will be here any day now (weather permitting) and we’ll have our share of butterflies and bees in the garden but writing this introduction to our latest Pacific Reader brings on memories of Mulhammed Ali’s poetry instead. Our feature story for this issue is a talk with our own hometown hero, our own pugilist of words – Peter Bacho (page 16). I love Peter because he never telegraphs his style or his genre, moving from book to book shifting his pen to suit the story. We also take a look at local couple, Bruce and Ju Chan Fulton, who serve as our valuable eyes and ears as they pry open the door to another world (page 15). Translation is the most difficult art of all, the act of transferring words from one language to another and for over 20 years they have given us numerous books of modern Korean literature. Honored by the Korean government for their efforts, they are what they call in Asia, “living cultural treasures.” Another feature story looks at a major work of scholarship, the literal unearthing of our own art history – Gordon Chang (Gordon will talk about the book at Elliott Bay Book Company on July 15 at 6 p.m. with Kazuko Nakane and Roger Shimomura), Mark Johnson and Sharon Spain did extensive interviews and directed vast amounts of research and scholarship to present these various stories of Asian American artists who often toiled anonymously at their craft from the turn of the century to the early 1970’s (page 13). Their book (should I be accused of nepotism, a small disclaimer – my wife Kazuko wrote the chapter on Northwest artists) is an important first step in telling the artist’s stories for the first time. Many book review supplements give you the new, the seasonal and the trendy. Here at Pacific reader, we recognize that books can come from anywhere – small presses, university presses and not necessarily from New York alone. We also like to shed light on undiscovered classics or neglected books looking for readers, no matter how old they are. We hope you enjoy this latest issue of Pacific Reader. Our deepest thanks go to those supporters of my birthday who left donations to keep this going as well as our advertisers, our tireless and dedicated staff and yes, you our readers. Keep turning those pages and we’ll be back with another issue before you know it.
– Alan Chong Lau, IE Arts Editor