Keep the Channel Open

100 EpisodesProduced by Mike SakasegawaWebsite

Making connections through conversation with the art, literature, and creative work that matters to us, and the people who make it. Hosted by writer and photographer Mike Sakasegawa, Keep the Channel Open is a series of in-depth and intimate conversations with artists, writers, and curators from acr… read more

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Episode 96: Helen Zaltzman

September 11th, 2019


Helen Zaltzman is the host of the podcasts Answer Me This!, The Allusionist, and Veronica Mars Investigations. The Allusionist is one of my favorite podcasts, one that I never miss an episode of, an informative and …

Episode 95: Robert Calafiore

August 28th, 2019


Robert Calafiore is a photographer based in West Hartford, CT. Robert’s photographic practice involves building elaborate sets around male nudes or …

Episode 94: Rachel Zucker

August 14th, 2019


Rachel Zucker is a writer based in New York City. Rachel’s podcast Commonplace: Conversations with Poets (and Other People) is one of my favorite literary shows, a show that has deeply influenced my approach to …

Episode 93: Yanyi

July 31st, 2019


Yanyi is a writer and critic. Yanyi’s debut book The Year of Blue Water is part poetry, part essay, part journal, and entirely itself, a document of self-discovery and human connection. In our conversation, we talked …

Episode 92: Ashly Stohl

July 17th, 2019


Ashly Stohl is a photographer based in Los Angeles and New York. In the artist statement for her latest series, The Days & Years, Ashly writes, “In photography, they say that all portraits are really self portraits. …

Episode 52 (RERUN): Sarah Gailey

July 3rd, 2019


Sarah Gailey's two recent novellas, River of Teeth and Taste of Marrow, were a huge amount of fun for me as a fan of both Westerns and speculative …

Episode 91: Michelle Brittan Rosado

June 19th, 2019


Michelle Brittan Rosado is a poet based in Long Beach, CA. In her book Why Can’t It Be Tenderness, Michelle writes about California, Malaysia, and the space between, about divorce, and life transition, and new love. In …

Episode 90: Chaya Bhuvaneswar

June 5th, 2019


Chaya Bhuvaneswar is a physician and writer. I read Chaya’s short story collection White Dancing Elephants this spring and really enjoyed it, both …

Episode 89: Julia Dixon Evans

May 22nd, 2019


Julia Dixon Evans is a writer based in San Diego, CA. I read Julia’s novel How to Set Yourself on Fire recently and was quite taken with her use of …

Episode 88: Jennifer Greenburg

May 8th, 2019


Jennifer Greenburg is a photographer based in Chicago, IL. In her series Revising History, Jennifer alters vintage found photographs by inserting herself into the image, creating something new that comments on the ways …

Episode 87: David Bowles

April 24th, 2019


David Bowles is a writer based in south Texas. David’s latest book of poems, They Call Me Güero, is a middle-grade novel-in-verse about a light-skinned Mexican-American boy who is just entering the seventh grade. In the …

Episode 86: Lydia Kiesling

April 10th, 2019


Lydia Kiesling is a writer based in San Francisco, CA. Lydia’s debut novel, The Golden State, is a lot of things: a road trip story, an intimate …

Episode 85: Mariela Sancari

March 27th, 2019


Mariela Sancari is an Argentinian-born photographer based in Mexico City. Mariela’s series Moisés—a typology of portraits of men the age her late …

Episode 84: Matika Wilbur

March 13th, 2019


Matika Wilbur, of the Swinomish and Tulalip tribes, is a photographer based in the Pacific Northwest. For her current endeavor, Project 562, Matika …

Episode 83: Shivanee Ramlochan

February 27th, 2019


Shivanee Ramlochan is a Trinidadian poet, arts reporter, and book blogger. I had the opportunity to read Shivanee’s book of poems Everyone Knows I Am …

Episode 82: Victoria Mara Heilweil

February 13th, 2019


Victoria Mara Heilweil is a photographic artist, curator, and educator based in San Francisco, CA. I met Victoria at an opening here in San Diego a couple of years ago and immediately hit it off with her, as our work is …

Episode 81: Mike Sakasegawa

January 30th, 2019


To celebrate the third anniversary of Keep the Channel Open, photographer Daniel Gonçalves turned the tables on me and took on the role of podcast …

Episode 80: Jerry Takigawa

January 16th, 2019


Jerry Takigawa is a photographer, designer, and writer based in Carmel Valley, CA. In his photo series Balancing Cultures, Jerry explores his …

Episode 79: Rachel Lyon

January 2nd, 2019


Rachel Lyon is a writer based in Brooklyn, NY. Rachel’s debut novel Self-Portrait With Boy caught my attention for its complex depiction of a young artist in 1990’s Brooklyn, and the story has stuck with me in the …

Episode 78: David Naimon

December 19th, 2018


David Naimon is a writer and the host of the literature podcast Between the Covers, one of my absolute favorite podcasts. On his show, David brings a …

Episode 77: Brandon Thibodeaux

December 5th, 2018


Brandon Thibodeaux is a photographer based in Dallas, TX. At the Medium Festival of Photography this year, Brandon presented his series In That Land of Perfect Day, in which he looks at faith, identity, and perseverance …

Episode 10 (RERUN): Claire A. Warden

November 21st, 2018


The images from Claire A. Warden's series Mimesis are visually striking and delightfully inscrutable. Like most viewers, I was immediately grabbed by …

Episode 38 (RERUN): Brandon Taylor

November 7th, 2018


Brandon Taylor is a writer and graduate student at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. One of my favorite contemporary writers, Brandon's short stories are marvelously crafted, understated and emotionally charged, while his …

Episode 31 (RERUN): Christina Riley

October 24th, 2018


Christina Riley is a photographer and musician currently based in Seaside, California. When I first saw Christina's 2014 book Back to Me, I was immediately blown away by the emotional power and authenticity of the …

Episode 76: Nicole Chung

October 10th, 2018


Nicole Chung is a writer and editor. Nicole’s debut memoir All You Can Ever Know was released this month. In it, she tells the story of her life …

Episode 75: Tami Bahat

September 26th, 2018


Tami Bahat is a fine art photographer based in Los Angeles, CA. Tami’s Dramatis Personae photographs are a series of Renaissance-inspired portraits, …

Episode 74: Franny Choi

September 12th, 2018


Franny Choi’s chapbook Death By Sex Machine uses the framing of artificial intelligence to look at things like voicelessness, dehumanization, Asian fetishism, and more. In our conversation, Franny and I talked about her …

Episode 73: Ada Limón

August 29th, 2018


Ada Limón's latest book of poems, The Carrying, was just released this month by Milkweed Editions, and it's just beautiful. In this episode, Ada and …

Episode 72: Natalie Eilbert

August 15th, 2018


Natalie Eilbert's newest collection of poems, Indictus, was published in January of this year, and reading it is a profound and intense experience. …

Episode 71: R. O. Kwon

August 1st, 2018


R. O. Kwon's debut novel, The Incendiaries, was just released last week, and it's one of the best books I've read this year. In our conversation, we talked about her new book, who the first readers she has in mind are, …

Episode 70: Blue Mitchell

July 18th, 2018


Blue Mitchell is an independent publisher, curator, educator, and photographer based in Portland, OR. Blue's work, both as the publisher of Diffusion

Episode 69: Leah Umansky

July 4th, 2018


Leah Umansky is a poet, collage artist, and self-described Game of Thrones and Mad Men super fan. I recently read Leah's latest book, the full-length …

Episode 68: Richard Georges

June 20th, 2018


Richard Georges is a writer, editor, and lecturer in the British Virgin Islands. In his new collection of poems, Giant, Richard gives us a portrait …

Episode 67: Min Jin Lee

June 6th, 2018


Min Jin Lee is a writer based in New York. Earlier this year I read Min's latest novel, Pachinko, and it just blew me away. In our conversation, we talked about the book and it's journey to publication, and the …

Episode 66: Hannah Cohen

May 23rd, 2018


Hannah Cohen is a poet and editor based in Virginia. I recently picked up a copy of Hannah's new chapbook Bad Anatomy and the way that the poems …

Episode 65: Alanna Airitam

May 9th, 2018


Alanna Airitam is a portrait photographer based in San Diego, CA. In her series "The Golden Age," Alanna makes portraits of African Americans in the …

Episode 64: Andy Burgess

April 25th, 2018


Andy Burgess is a multidisciplinary artist based in Tucson, AZ. Known for his paintings of mid-century and modernist paintings, Andy's wide-ranging …

Episode 63: Morgan DeLuna

April 11th, 2018


Morgan DeLuna is a photographic artist based in Southern California. In her Phenotype series, Morgan uses self-portraiture to explore her diverse genetic heritage. In our conversation we talked about that series, and …

Episode 62: Devin Kelly

March 28th, 2018


Devin Kelly is a poet and teacher based in New York, NY. Devin's latest book of poems, In This Quiet Church of Night, I Say Amen was a recent favorite of mine, an elegiac, contemplative book about family, love, and the …

Episode 61: Ty Franck

March 14th, 2018


Ty Franck is a writer based in Albuquerque, NM. Along with Daniel Abraham, Ty is the author of the bestselling science fiction series The Expanse. In our conversation, Ty and I talked about The Expanse, how it got …

Episode 60: Brenda Biondo

February 28th, 2018


Brenda Biondo is a fine art photographer based in Colorado. Brenda's work focuses on three distinct areas: constructed abstractions centered on …

Episode 59: Justyna Badach

February 14th, 2018


Justyna Badach is a photographic artist based in Philadelphia, PA. Justyna's work examines the iconography of the masculine history of art in …

Episode 58: Linda Alterwitz

January 31st, 2018


Linda Alterwitz is a photographic artist based in Las Vegas, NV. Linda's work brings science and technology together with art to make some visually …

Episode 57: Lisa M. Robinson

January 17th, 2018


Lisa M. Robinson is a fine art photographer based in Tucson, AZ. Lisa's conceptual landscape photography has been hugely influential to me as an artist, so I was thrilled to get the opportunity to talk with her for the …

Episode 56: Chris Engman

January 3rd, 2018


Chris Engman is a fine art photographer based in Los Angeles. I first encountered Chris's work when he gave an artist lecture at the Medium Festival of Photography a few years ago, and his work just blew my mind. …

Episode 55: Daniel Gonçalves

December 20th, 2017


Daniel Gonçalves is a portrait, editorial, and commercial photographer based in Los Angeles. I met Daniel at this year's Medium Festival of …

Episode 54: Courtney Balestier & Mike Sakasegawa

December 6th, 2017


Courtney Balestier is a writer and the host of WMFA, a podcast where writers talk writing. I've been a fan of WMFA for several months now so I was …

Episode 53: Eleonora Ronconi

November 22nd, 2017


Eleonora Ronconi is a photographer originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina, now a resident of the Bay Area. I first saw Eleonora's work via the Six …

Episode 52: Sarah Gailey

November 8th, 2017


Sarah Gailey's two recent novellas, River of Teeth and Taste of Marrow, were a huge amount of fun for me as a fan of both Westerns and speculative …

Episode 51: Mari Ness

October 25th, 2017


Mari Ness is a speculative fiction writer and poet based in central Florida. I was recently turned on to Mari's work by a mutual acquaintance of …

Episode 50: Alexander Chee

October 11th, 2017


Alexander Chee is the author of two novels, Edinburgh and The Queen of the Night. I read the latter of the two last year and it was one of my favorite books of the year. I was pleased to get a chance to talk with …

Episode 49: Maggie Smith

September 27th, 2017


Maggie Smith is a poet living and working in Bexley, Ohio. In 2016 Maggie's poem "Good Bones" became a viral hit—it's since been translated into nearly a dozen languages and was named by PRI as "the official poem of …

Episode 48: Celeste Ng

September 13th, 2017


Celeste Ng is a writer based in Cambridge, MA. Celeste's first novel, 2014's Everything I Never Told You, is, without exaggeration, one of the most …

Episode 47: Kevin Miyazaki

August 30th, 2017


Kevin Miyazaki is an editorial and fine art photographer based in Milwaukee, WI. I've been a fan of Kevin's for some time now, both for his own work as well as his work highlighting and supporting the photographic …

Episode 46: Rizzhel Mae Javier

August 16th, 2017


Rizzhel Mae Javier is a photographer and installation artist based in San Diego, CA. I first met Rizzhel when we were both participating in the …

Episode 45: Jennifer DeCarlo

August 2nd, 2017


Jennifer DeCarlo is the director of jdc Fine Art, which was one of my favorite galleries in San Diego. Today, Jennifer splits time between San Diego and Chicago, and still works constantly championing the artists she …

Episode 44: scott b davis

July 19th, 2017


As a photographer, scott b davis is known for his stunning, shadowy platinum prints, which you really have to see in person to get the full effect. …

Episode 43: Susan Rosenberg Jones

July 5th, 2017


Susan Rosenberg Jones is a photographer based in New York City. I've been a fan of Susan's for several years, starting with her series "Second Time Around," about her experience of being a newlywed in her 60's. We had a …

Episode 42: Jess T. Dugan

June 21st, 2017


Photographer Jess T. Dugan is one of my favorite contemporary portrait artists, whose work explores issues of gender, sexuality, identity, and community. Jess's 2015 book Every Breath We Drew is a favorite of mine, and …

Episode 41: Kinsee Morlan

June 7th, 2017


Kinsee Morlan is the engagement editor at Voice of San Diego, author of the Culture Report, and host of the San Diego Culturecast. As one of the main …

Episode 40: Rachel Hulin

May 24th, 2017


Rachel Hulin is a photographer and writer based in Providence, Rhode Island. I first came to know Rachel's photographic work several years ago, and …

Episode 39: Becky Senf

May 10th, 2017


Dr. Becky Senf is the Chief Curator at the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson, Arizona, and the Norton Family Curator of Photography, a joint appointment between the Center and the Phoenix Art Museum. In our …

Episode 38: Brandon Taylor

April 26th, 2017


Brandon Taylor is a writer and a Ph.D. candidate in biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. One of my favorite contemporary writers, Brandon's short stories are marvelously crafted, understated and …

Episode 37: Jonas Yip

April 12th, 2017


Jonas Yip is a photographer and musician in the Los Angeles area, not to mention a friend of mine. I first met Jonas several years ago at the first Medium Festival of Photography, where we immediately hit it off. As he …

Episode 36: Barbarella Fokos

March 29th, 2017


Barbarella Fokos is a writer and filmmaker based in San Diego, CA. I came to know Barbarella's work through The Artist Odyssey where, as one of the executive producers, she creates documentary films about artists and …

Episode 35: Paul Turounet

March 15th, 2017


Paul Turounet is a photographer who lives and works in the San Diego area. Paul's work focuses on the border region between the United States and …

Episode 34: Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib

March 1st, 2017


Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib is a poet from Columbus, Ohio. For today's episode I was pleased to talk to Hanif about his 2016 book The Crown Ain't Worth …

Episode 33: José Olivarez

February 15th, 2017


José Olivarez is a poet living and working in Chicago, Illinois, and is also co-host of one of my all-time favorite podcasts, The Poetry Gods. In our wide-ranging conversation we talked about how The Poetry Gods came to …

Episode 32: Ginger Shulick Porcella

February 1st, 2017


Ginger Shulick Porcella is the Executive Director of the San Diego Art Institute, an experimental, bi-national contemporary arts center in San Diego, …

Episode 31: Christina Riley

January 18th, 2017


Christina Riley is a photographer and musician currently based in Seaside, California. When I first saw Christina's 2014 book Back to Me, I was immediately blown away by the emotional power and authenticity of the …

Episode 30: Rachael Short

January 4th, 2017


Rachael Short is a fine art photographer based in Carmel, California. After graduating from the Brooks Institute, Rachael had a thriving wedding and portrait photography business, which ended in 2010 when she was in a …

Episode 29: Matt Eich

December 21st, 2016


Matt Eich is a documentary and editorial photographer based in Charlottesville, Virginia. I've been a fan of Matt's work for several years now, and I was excited to get the chance to talk about his four-part project The …

Episode 28: Alexander Kohnke

December 7th, 2016


Alexander Kohnke is a San Diego-based artist and graphic designer (originally from Germany) whose work incorporates a variety of different disciplines and genres, from printmaking to drawing to photography. Alex and I …

Episode 27: Lindsay Hatton

November 23rd, 2016


I knew that I was going to read Lindsay Hatton's debut novel, Monterey Bay, as soon as I saw the title—I grew up in that area, after all—and I was pleased to discover that between the covers of the book lay a story that …

Episode 26: Chantel Paul

November 10th, 2016


Chantel Paul is the Program Coordinator of the San Diego State University Downtown Gallery, a space which has rapidly become an important part of the …

Episode 25: David Emitt Adams

October 26th, 2016


David Emitt Adams recently won the 2016 Clarence John Laughlin award for his photography, and if you've ever seen it before, you know why. In his …

Episode 24: Shaindel Beers

October 12th, 2016


Shaindel Beers is the author of two full-length collections of poetry, A Brief History of Time and The Children's War and Other Poems, and her poems …

Episode 23: José Iriarte

September 28th, 2016


José Iriarte and I go way back, and it's been with great pleasure that I've watched his writing career start to take off over the past few years. He's had short stories appear in a number of publications, including …

Episode 22: Esmé Weijun Wang

September 14th, 2016


Esmé Weijun Wang's debut novel The Border of Paradise is one of my favorite books so far this year. A multigenerational epic centered on an …

Episode 21: Kurt Simonson

August 31st, 2016


In his lecture at the 2014 Medium Festival of Photography, photographer Kurt Simonson said that the common thread running through his work is the idea of longing; whether through family or friendship or community, the …

Episode 20: Hannah Stephenson

August 17th, 2016


This week, our very first poetry episode with Ohio poet Hannah Stephenson! I first started reading Hannah's blog, The Storialist, a year or so ago, and although most of the poems she posts there are short, they really …

Episode 19: Ken Rosenthal

August 3rd, 2016


Tucson-based photographer Ken Rosenthal's work has always stuck in my mind for both its striking visual style and the way that he uses images to …

Episode 18: Aline Smithson

July 20th, 2016


Aline Smithson may well be the busiest person in photography. Not only is she a brilliant artist in her own right, she is also the editor of one of the top photo blogs in the world, Lenscratch, where she posts new …

Episode 17: Amanda Dahlgren

July 6th, 2016


Amanda Dahlgren was one of the first friends I made in the San Diego photography community, and I always look forward to a chance to talk with her. Amanda's work combines a strong sense of formal composition with an …

Episode 16: Jennifer McClure

May 11th, 2016


If there's a recurring theme that runs through photographer Jennifer McClure's work, it's about connection, the presence or absence of it. We talked about her ongoing portrait series of singles in New York, and that led …

Episode 15: Carrie Elizabeth Thompson

May 4th, 2016


Carrie Elizabeth Thompson is a photographer whose work I've been following for several years. Her work is rich in storytelling, and I was drawn in by …

Episode 14: Pastilla

April 27th, 2016


I met San Diego artist Pastilla in March at the MAS Attack event at the San Diego Art Institute, and after talking with her for a few minutes I knew that I wanted to continue the conversation. We started off talking …

Episode 13: Carolina Montejo

April 20th, 2016


Carolina Montejo is a San Diego-based photographer and writer whose work looks very futuristic, but don't be fooled: it's all about the contemporary. …

Episode 12: Andi Schreiber

April 13th, 2016


Photographer Andi Schreiber was one of the first people whose work inspired me to try to make meaningful photographs, myself. Andi's bold, vibrant …

Episode 11: Daniel Abraham

April 6th, 2016


Daniel Abraham has written or co-written over twenty novels, among them some of my favorite recent science fiction and fantasy series. You may know …

Episode 10: Claire A. Warden

March 30th, 2016


The images from Claire A. Warden's series Mimesis are visually striking and delightfully inscrutable. Like most viewers, I was immediately grabbed by …

Episode 9: TML Dunn

March 23rd, 2016


I first saw TML Dunn's work last month at the opening of the "Energy: Made in Form" exhibition at the SDSU Downtown Gallery, and his work stopped me dead in my tracks. Visiting his studio later and getting to see the …

Episode 8: Bryan Ida

March 16th, 2016


I've known Bryan Ida for a long time, which makes sense because we're family. But that's not the reason that he's one of my favorite living painters. …

Episode 7: Jeffery Saddoris

March 9th, 2016


Jeffery Saddoris is a painter and amateur photographer, and the host of several popular photography podcasts. I’ve been a longtime listener to his …

Episode 6: Robert Jackson Bennett

March 2nd, 2016


Robert Jackson Bennett is one of my favorite contemporary fantasy authors. His Divine Cities series—so far comprising the novels City of Stairs and City of Blades—is unlike anything I can recall seeing before, combining …

Episode 5: Samantha Geballe

February 24th, 2016


Samantha Geballe's photographs made a deep impression on me when I first saw them back in 2014. Her fearless series of self-portraits are some of the most intense, honest portrayals of an artist's inner life I've seen, …

Episode 4: Drew Nikonowicz

February 17th, 2016


Photographer Drew Nikonowicz ruffled a few feathers at the 2015 Medium Festival of Photography with his series This World and Others Like It, but far from being put off by a divided audience, Drew looked at it as an …

Episode 3: Elke Luyten & Kira Alker

February 10th, 2016


I've known movement artists Elke Luyten and Kira Alker for a long time, and I always love getting the chance to talk to them. In this week's episode we spoke about their history with movement theater as well as their …

Episode 2: Rebecca L. Webb

February 3rd, 2016


Photographer Rebecca Louise Webb recently opened a two-person show at the San Diego Art Institute looking at the way that young people interact with the natural world. Rebecca's portion of the show drew from her new …

Episode 1: Trinh Mai

January 27th, 2016


Trinh Mai is a Vietnamese-American interdisciplinary artist whose incredibly empathetic work encompasses painting, drawing, sculpture, and more. I …

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