This month, an interview with the awesome Nancy Hightower and Bryan Thao Worra went live at Speculate SF On the podcast, they had a lively discussion on "the unique appeal of poetry, how so much of speculative fiction poetry touches on the dark, grotesque and macabre, and what’s changed (and is still changing) in the field..." Bryan Thao Worra touched on many of the issues particularly from a science fiction perspective, including connections between the work of writers like H.P. Lovecraft and the Lao diaspora.
Nancy Hightower is an author and poet, as well as an art critic and fiction reviewer who currently writes for The Washington Post. Her debut epic fantasy novel, Elementarí Rising, was published in September 2013 with Pink Narcissus Press and received a starred review from Library Journal. She has co-authored, along with Carrie Ann Baade, the Cute and Creepy exhibition catalogue, an art book of contemporary macabre and surrealist works. You can visit her online at: http://www.nancyhightower.com/
The first Lao symposium is scheduled to be held from April 17-18, hosted in Minneapolis, MN. Free and open to the public at the Urban research and Outreach Engagement Center at 2001 Plymouth Avenue North in Minneapolis. It will also be where we convene the 2nd National Lao Writers Summit after five years. Be sure to join us if you can. Register here.
Anticipated guests include Lao American authors and writers such as Bryan Thao Worra, Nor Sanavongsay, Krysada Panusith Phounsiri, Chanida Phaengdara Potter, Saymoukda Vongsay, Souvankham Thammavongsa, Catzie Vilayphonh, Ova Saopeng, Leilani Chan, and many more! We expect it will be a great weekend of Laotian poetry, prose, spoken word and memories.
If you're in the LA/SoCal area on Friday, March 6th, check out the Southeast Asian Legacies Symposium at California State University, Fullerton. Little Laos on the Prairie Founding Editor, Chanida Phaengdara Potter, will be on a panel presenting on preserving and sharing our stories. You can register here.
In addition to her work at Little Laos on the Prairie, Chanida Phaengdara Potter has also worked as a consultant for the Lao Assistance Center of Minnesota in community health outreach and education. She holds a BA in International Relations and Communications from University of Minnesota.
A former president of the Lao Student Association of the University of Minnesota, she is a community development advocate for the Lao and Southeast Asian communities in Minnesota. Born in Vientiane, Laos; Chanida has been a Minnesotan for over 25 years. She has worked in nonprofits and NGOs on sustainable development, advocacy, and communications for almost a decade.