Monday, December 17, 2012

A Million Fireflies Kickstarter: Going on until January 13, 2013

Mali Phonpadith is conducting a Kickstarter to create an audio book for the millions of "fireflies" who may not be able to read her memoir, which is currently written in the English language. She needs to raise $7,500+ by January 13th, 2013.


Writer Chay Douangphouxay’s chapbook, Remission: Finding Light in the Midst of Social Darkness, is being published with a release party on Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the Regla De Oro Art Gallery, 3007 Lyndale Ave South, in Minneapolis.

The poems in this collection are inspired by the life and experiences of the author from her humble beginnings in the Thai refugee camps to growing up as a second-class citizen in the Housing Projects of North Minneapolis. You can learn more at Asian American Press.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Saymoukda Duangphouxay Vongsay joined the board of the St. Paul Almanac

Award-winning writer Saymoukda Duangphouxay Vongsay has joined the  board of directors of the St. Paul Almanac.

The Saint Paul Almanac is a literary organization that creates  opportunities for understanding, learning, and building relationships  through sharing people's stories. As a community-driven publication,  the almanac's editors find writers everywhere—"talking to their  friends and family, people at restaurants, the farmers' market, festivals, writers' groups, coffee shops," said founder Kimberly  Nightingale.

A Lao American resident of St. Paul, Vongsay was declared a 2011  Changemaker by Intermedia Arts for her community service. She was a  co-chair of the 2010 National Lao American Writers Summit and the  acclaimed Legacies of War: Refugee Nation Twin Cities multimedia  exhibit. Vongsay has been at the forefront of bringing Lao Minnesota  literary arts to national prominence.

You can visit the Saint Paul Almanac at:

Friday, September 14, 2012

2012 Beyond the Pure Fellowships for Writers Available

The guidelines have been released for Intermedia Arts' 2012 Beyond the Pure Fellowships for Writers formerly the SASE Jerome Grants for Emerging Writers)

 The deadline is 6PM Friday, October 19, 2012

Applications are now available for Intermedia Arts' Beyond the Pure Fellowships for Minnesota writers. This is a fellowship program that awards grants of up to $4,000 to four to six emerging Minnesota writers each year. In addition to their grant award, recipients also participate in a 12-month fellowship program that provides community, guidance, workshops, and resources throughout the program year.

Intermedia Arts' Beyond the Pure Fellowships for Writers places a particular emphasis on increasing the visibility of and providing a platform for emerging writers whose voices have historically been underrepresented in the literary arts, including (but not limited to): writers of color, GLBT writers, women, new immigrants, native and Indigenous writers, low-income writers, and writers exploring non-traditional pathways to success. For more information you can go here:

Friday, March 30, 2012

Refugee Nation Coming To LA!

Refugee Nation finally will get a chance to shine bright in a Downtown LA Theater. After much anticipation, hard work and determination we return to Los Angeles, the birth place of this play, after 7 years and many miles touring the nation. A few of you have witnessed it, most of you have had a taste of it, many of you have heard about it but THIS IS THE OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE THE TIME AND FINALLY SEE THE FULL SHOW!! We will need your help to fill the seats and bring family, friends and foes as audiences to celebrate such a historic event.

Refugee Nation

Written and performed by Leilani Chan and Ova Saopeng with featured artist Litdet Viravong

Directed by Armando Molina

Produced by TeAda Productions and The Latino Theater Company

A mother lives alone in the darkness. A father struggles to forget a lost war. A son battles in the streets of urban America. A daughter searches for answers in her community. Refugee Nation is about a young generation struggling to understand their history and the silence of an elder generation still healing from the traumas of war. Based on the stories of Laotian refugees in the U.S. Refugee Nation returns to L.A. to Premiere the completed work after touring the country over 5 years.

The Los Angeles Theatre Center

514 S. Spring St.

Los Angeles, CA 90013

May 31-June 24, 2012

Thursday-Saturday 8pm |Sunday 3pm

General $30 | Students, Seniors, Veterans $20 | $10 Thursday

Tickets now available:

Box Office 866-811-4111

Group Services 213-489-0994 ext. 110

Walk up tickets available one hour prior to performance (based on availability)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Save the date: Literasians, 5/24

Save the date! Bryan Thao Worra will be in San Francisco on Thursday, May 24, 2012 at 7:00 pm  for a free panel discussion, LITERASIANS.

The Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center and Kartika Review present a lineup of both established and emerging writers and poets to discuss the state of APIA literature today, its development over the years, and a projection for how it will evolve in the future.

Moderated by Kartika’s editor-at-large Christine Lee Zilka, the panel will feature Yiyun Li, Bharati Mukherjee, Andre Yang, Aimee Phan, and Bryan Thao Worra.

Light food and drink provided afterward.

For more information, please email the managing editor, Sunny Woan, at

Main Gallery
SOMArts Building
934 Brannan Street
San Francisco, CA 94123

Friday, February 10, 2012

Family Style Open Mic: Spring 2012

Hosted by spoken word duo Yellow Rage (Michelle Myers & Catzie Vilayphonh), Asian Arts Initiative's monthly open mic series invites the sharing of stories, song, dance, poetry among Asian Americans and extended "family" from all communities and cultures.

This season's open mic dates features some amazing performers this season. Don't forget to come early for the popular pre-show reception with food generously donated by local restaurants. The pre-show reception is FREE for all open mic guests! Want to take the stage? Sign up in advance for a 5-minute open mic spot! Please sign up at least 2 days in advance of the event if you wish to receive confirmation of your open mic spot.

 Family Style Open Mic
Third Fridays of the month
 Asian Arts Initiative
1219 Vine Street
General Admission*: $5-10 Sliding Scale

Larry Hama, a veteran comic book writer and artist as well as an actor and musician. Hama is best known for his work for Marvel Comics's G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero series. He has also written for the series Wolverine, Nth Man: the Ultimate Ninja, and Elektra. He created the character Bucky O'Hare, which was developed into a comic book, a toy line and television cartoon. Larry will share his insiders view of the comics industry, discuss his experiences working on comics such as Marvel's G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero series and give us his uncensored take on the state of comics today

Dakshina / Daniel Phoenix Singh Dance Company is a leading DC-based company with trademark programming featuring Bharata Natyam (classical Indian dance), and Modern dance side-by-side. The company combines the arts with social justice issues both by incorporating the themes into our work and via partnerships with local community centers and schools. As part of a weeklong residency in Philadelphia, hosted by Asian Arts Initiative, Dakshina will treat the Family Style audience to a preview of their feature length matinee performance on Saturday March 17 at Haverford College's Marshall Auditorium in Roberts Hall. Stay tuned for more information about this FREE performance!

Mystery Guest in April!

Robert Karimi is an interdisciplinary playwright, multimedia humorist, activist, and poet and the artistic director of kaotic good productions. A San Francisco Bay Area native and son of Iranian and Guatemalan parents, Karimi's work has been featured from Alaska to Australia. A National Poetry Slam Champion, and Def Poetry Jam performer, his works include self (the remix), The Cooking Show con Karimi y Comrades, Shaving time, and the Approximate Value of a Foot Bubbler. Karimi's awards include a National Poetry Slam Championship, an Alliance of Artists' Communities Midwestern Voices & Visions Award, a Verve Spoken Word Grant, and a Kohler Arts/Industry residency.

For more information: visit

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Possible speculative literature markets for Lao American writers

For Lao American writers seeking places to submit science fiction, fantasy, horror and other stories and poems to, consider some of the following magazines. Some pay, some do not. Naturally, of those who do pay, some pay well, and others barely provide enough for a cup of cyber-coffee and bus ride home.

But all of the ones listed below are still currently or will be accepting writing in the future.  Some may be more receptive to stories that have overtly Lao or Southeast Asian American elements to them, but this is the sort of thing one finds out only by applying.

Remember, do your research and read a few issues ahead of time to get a feeling for whether or not your work would be a good fit with them. Don't send science fiction splatterpunk short stories to a journal that only accepts fantasy poetry, for example.

As always, caveat scriptor. Most have been vetted for reliability and good terms regarding their publishing rights and professionalism, but one should do their research on others writers experiences with them when one can. Most of these should provide interesting opportunities and good homes for many of your works.

Good luck!
  1. 365 Tomorrows  
  2. Albedo
  3. Allegory  
  4. Analog  
  5. Andromeda Spaceways  
  6. AntipodeanSF  
  7. Aoife's Kiss  
  8. Apex
  9. Aphelion  
  10. Asimovs  
  11. Aurealis  
  12. Bewildering Stories  
  13. Big Pulp  
  14. Brain Harvest  
  15. Chizine  
  16. Digital Dragon Magazine   /  
  17. Electriic Velocipede  
  18. Emg-Zine  
  19. Everyday Weirdness  
  20. Expanded Horizons
  21. Fabulist  
  22. Fantastic Metropolis  
  23. Fantasy and Science Fiction  
  24. FlashShot  
  25. Future Fire  
  26. Goblin Fruit
  27. Grantville Gazette  
  28. Ideomacer  
  29. Indian Science Fiction & Fantasy  
  30. Innsmouth Free Press
  31. Jupiter Science Fiction  
  32. Kaleidotrope  
  33. Kissed by Venus  
  34. Leading Edge Magazine  
  35. Lightspeed Magazine
  36. Locus Magazine    
  37. Luna Cat  
  38. M-Brand SF  
  39. Morpheus Tales  
  40. Neo-Opsis  
  41. New Bedlam  
  42. On Spec  
  43. Pigasus  
  44. Polu Texni  
  45. Polyphony  
  46. Presto Strange-O  
  47. Quantum Muse  
  48. Raven Electrick  
  49. Raygun Revival  
  50. Reflections Edge / 
  51. Residential Aliens  
  52. Revolution Science Fiction  
  53. Scifi Space  
  54. SF Reviews  
  55. SFrevu  
  56. SF Worlds  
  57. Shimmer  
  58. Silver Thought  
  59. Some Fantastic  
  60. Space and Time  
  61. Space Squid  
  62. Starburst  
  63. Strange Horizons  
  64. Surprising Stories   
  65. Tales of the Unanticipated  
  66. Tangent Online  
  67. Ticonderoga  
  68. Tiny Globule
  69. Titles Goes Here  
  70. TTA  
  71. Vestal Review  
  72. Zone   
If you have additional journals to suggest, please let us know!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Refugee Nation in the Examiner

At the, Refugee Nation was profiled recently: 

"On January 29, the Los Angeles Theatre Center presented a free reading of the play “Refugee Nation” by Leilani Chan and Ova Saopeng at their annual Playwright Festival followed by a Question and Answer session. “Refugee Nation” is an examination of what it is to be a refugee in America focusing on the Asian Community of Lao..."

You can read the full article here:

Kundiman Poetry Prize Deadline: March 1st

The deadline for the 2012 Kundiman Prize is coming on March 1st.

The Kundiman Poetry Prize is dedicated to publishing exceptional work by Asian American poets.

The winner receives $1,000, book publication with Alice James Books and a New York City feature reading.

Alice James Books is a cooperative poetry press with a mission is to seek out and publish the best contemporary poetry by both established and beginning poets, with particular emphasis on involving poets in the publishing process.

 In August 2004, Kundiman presented its inaugural Asian American Poetry Retreat at The University of Virginia. This annual retreat was created by poets Sarah Gambito and Joseph O. Legaspi. Through their own experiences as writing students and poets, both recognized the need for a nurturing and yet rigorous space for emerging Asian American poets: such a space would facilitate creation of new work, create mentoring relationships with established Asian American poets, and address challenges that uniquely affect Asian American poets.

 Kundiman sees poetry not only as vehicle for cultural expression but also as an instrument for political dialogue and self-empowerment. They recognize the need to create an Asian American poetic community, and, at the same time, engender a commitment among poets to give back to their own communities. You can learn more about them at

Be sure to check out the competition!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Lao American Speculative Arts Anthology update

A big thanks to everyone who got their entries in on time! We appreciate the extraordinary response!

For this volume of Lao American speculative art, we will be including some stunning visual art, poetry, short stories and play exceprts from Lao American artists from across the US.

We're still expecting a few last minute submissions but it looks like we will have over 200 pages of Lao American approaches to science fiction, fantasy, horror and the myths and legends of our past.

Many contributors are already award-winning, nationally-recognized artists, and werecevied work from some new and emerging voices, too. Among those already accepted for the anthology:

Poems by Thavisouk Phrasavath, Oscar-nominated, Emmy-winning director of the film Nerakhoon.

Visual art by Mali Kouanchao, Vongduane Manivong, Sompaseuth Choulanmany, and Sayon Syprasoeuth.

Writing by Catzie of Yellow Rage, Ova Saopeng of 'Refugee Nation' and 'Lao as a Second Language,' Chanida Phaengdara Potter of the blog Little Laos on the Prairie, and Anchalee P. Roberts.

Play excerpts from editor Saymoukda Duangphouxay Vongsay, author of No Regrets.

Other submissions are currently being reviewed and tweaked, but it's looking very good and this anthology will constitute the first anthology of Lao American writers and artists since the last SatJaDham collection in 2001.

We extended the deadline one last time because many of us were tied up by school, work and holidays when the initial call for submissions went out. That, and let's face it, Laocrastination got the better of some of us.

If you know any Lao American artists and writers who would be interested in this project, let us know. But this is the absolute last call. The deadline is March 1st.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Celebrating year of the Dragon: Free e-book of BARROW

To celebrate the arrival of the Year of the Dragon, Bryan Thao Worra is giving away free e-book copies of his current book of speculative poetry, BARROW, to the first 100 people who e-mail him at thaoworra @ The second book of speculative poetry by Laotian American writer Bryan Thao Worra, BARROW includes all-new poems as well as poems that appeared in journals such as Whistling Shade, Northography and Tales of the Unanticipated between 1991-2009. BARROW continues an experimental journey across cultures and language to examine themes of multiplicity and meaning in an uncertain universe. You can visit Bryan Thao Worra at

Refugee Nation coming to LA: May 31st to June 24th


Produced by TeAda Productions and The Latino Theater Company, the acclaimed Lao American play Refugee Nation will coming to Los Angelese at the Los Angeles Theater Center from May 31 - June 24, 2012. The shows will be from Thursday-Saturday 8pm, and on Sundays at 3pm. General admission will cost $30 but Students, Seniors, and Groups can get a discounted price of: $20.

 Upcoming shows this year will be in Portland, Oregon and Vermont.

What is Refugee Nation?

A mother lives alone in the darkness. A father struggles to forget a lost war. A son battles in the streets of urban America. A daughter searches for answers in her community. Refugee Nation is about a young generation struggling to understand their history and the silence of an elder generation still healing from the traumas war. What can we learn from the wounds of a war over 30 years ago in the hope to find healing? 

Refugee Nation tells the stories of a community created by a U.S. led secret war in Laos. Intricately connected to the Vietnam War, Laotian refugees struggle to create a future as their American descendants struggle to understand their past. Since 2005, collaborators Leilani Chan and Ova Saopeng have been collecting oral histories from family and community members across the country to create an interdisciplinary theater performance that explores a growing part of the Asian American Diaspora that is yet to be included as part of the American experience.

Through theater and movement they re-construct the stories of families trying to rebuild a community that has been spread like ashes across the U.S. and the world. More than just a telling of Laotian American history, the two-person performance eloquently touches upon issues relating to the refugee experience, assimilation, generation gap, and mental health using drama, film, music, and audience interaction, and personalizes these issues through a genuine Laotian American perspective.

The result is a product that not only brings to light the hidden stories of Laotian Americans around the U.S., but one that is able to unite people from all types of backgrounds, ethnicities, and histories by relaying the ideas of change, loss, struggle, healing, and the unrelenting strength of the human spirit.

You can find out more by visiting

Kundiman poetry retreat deadline: February 1st

In order to help mentor the next generation of Asian American poets, Kundiman is sponsoring an annual Poetry Retreat in parternship with Fordham University.

During the Retreat, "nationally renowned Asian American poets will conduct workshops with fellows. Readings, writing circles and informal social gatherings will also be scheduled. Through this Retreat, Kundiman hopes to provide a safe and instructive environment that identifies and addresses the unique challenges faced by emerging Asian American poets. This 5-day Retreat will take place from Wednesday to Sunday. Workshops will not exceed eight students."

The Lao American poet Phayvanh Luekhamhan participated in the Kundiman poetry retreat, as has the Hmong American poet Andre Yang. If you're interested in Asian American poetics, it could be of significant interest to you.

The application is free. You'll need to submit 5-7 pages of poems and a brief paragraph about what you'd like to accomplish at the retreat.

Note that the tuition fee is $350 but room and board are free. It takes place in New York City from June 20th-24th. You'll also have to arrange your own transport to New York City and to the college.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Saymoukda Vongsay joins Intermedia Arts and Asian Pacific Endowment board

A big congratulations to award-winning Lao American writer Saymoukda Vongsay, who recently was officially appointed to the board of directors for Intermedia Arts and also as a member of the board of directors at the Asian Pacific Endowment Fund of the St. Paul Foundation.

A pioneer in creative community leadership and engagement, Intermedia Arts has been providing artists and audiences with the tools, support, respect and freedom to make positive social change through art, dialogue and civic engagement since 1973. Over the past 40 years they’ve grown, become multi-disciplinary, changed their name, and gained international recognition for their innovative programming and approach to creative leadership and community engagement. You can visit them at

The Asian Pacific Endowment, a permanent philanthropic endowment built by and for Asian Pacific Islanders, empowers communities to improve and enrich the lives of Asian Pacific Islanders in Minnesota. The Asian Pacific Endowment is a partner in The Saint Paul Foundation’s SpectrumTrust, an initiative to enhance the philanthropic capacity of Minnesota’s richly diverse communities of color.

We look forward to the great work and vision Saymoukda Vongsay will bring to both boards.

Catzie Vilayphonh profiled at the Leeway Foundation

Lao American spoken word artist Catzie Vilayphonh was recently highlighted at the Leeway Foundation website in an interview.

Catzie Vilayphonh from Leeway Foundation on Vimeo.

A big congratulations to her as a recipient of the Leeway Transformation Award 2010 and the Art and Change Grant 2010. We look forward to many more accomplishments from her!

Friday, January 20, 2012

2012 Call for Submissions: Journal of Southeast Asian American Education and Advancement

It's the start of a new year, and we had a great 2011 at the Journal of Southeast Asian American Education and Advancement. In addition to 19 academic articles and reviews, we had a record number of submissions in our creative works section from established and emerging Southeast Asian American writers. In 2011, we featured:

* Selected Poems of Andre Yang
* You Bring Out the Laos in the House by Catzie Vilayphonh
* Selected Poems of Toon Souksada Phapphayboun
* The p0wer of numbers of Sumeia Williams
* Selected Poems of Samy Elisabeth Yang
* When the Mountain Spirit Spoke by Anchalee P Roberts
* Hmong Daughter; Womyn by Linda Hawj

JSAAEA is an official publication of The National Association for the Education and Advancement of Cambodian, Laotian, and Vietnamese Americans (NAFEA), with support from the Department of Bicultural-Bilingual studies and the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

In 2012, we'd like to continue adding more creative voices to the journal. If you or someone you know has work that you'd like to contribute, send them to me at or you can go to the website at

30th San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival coming!


When: March 8-18, 2012
Where: San Francisco, Berkeley, and San Jose, CA

The SFIAAFF, presented by the Center for Asian American Media, is the nation's largest showcase for new Asian American and Asian films, annually presenting over 100 works in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Festival's 30th anniversary program celebrates the past, present, and future - not only honoring pioneers in Asian and Asian American media-making, but also new directions in digital and interactive media, sound and youth culture, and gaming.

So, keep your New Year's resolution - get out into the community and learn more about the richness and diversity of Asian and Asian American experiences (Wait, that wasn't on your list? Well, it should be!).

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Modern Lao literature since 1975

Back in 2005,The Laos Cultural Profile was created in partnership with the Ministry of Information and Culture of Laos with financial support from the Rockefeller Foundation. It featured a number of good leads, including this overview of modern Lao literature since 1975:

Highlights include the name of several prominent writers in Laos which provides a good start to consider when doing cross-cultural exchanges, but to be honest, given some of the errors they made regarding 'prominent' Lao painters abroad, this information may need to be updated and examined by Lao American writers in the very near future, especially as efforts are made to connect with younger emerging voices in the community.

A quick history of Lao literature

When you are looking at nearly 600+ years of a literary tradition, that's a lot of ground to cover. In English, one of the best places to start can be found in the introductory essay of scholar Peter Koret that served as the forward to the classic short story collection, Mother's Beloved (Phaeng Mae) by Outhine Bounyavong.

This essay is currently archived online at: and is strongly encouraged as essential reading for anyone with an interest in the journey of Lao poetry, short stories and novels. Peter Koret has recently been finishing a number of additional essays which will hopefully be available to the public soon.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Call for Submissions: Lao American Speculative Arts Anthology

Approaching 40 years in the US, we know Lao Americans love science fiction, fantasy, horror, myths and legends. Now we're looking your stories and art for the first full-length anthology of Lao American speculative art and literature.

Whether it's a story of Lao astronauts in a distant future, nak or phi in ancient Lan Xang, the missing adventures of Sithong or Xieng Mieng, or wild weretigers and kinnali in Laotown, we want to hear about it!

Tales of time-traveling silapin, Lao cyborgs and superheroes, or visitors to haunted villages are all encouraged and welcomed.

illustration courtesy of Nor Sanavongsay

Send us your best original stories between 250 to 5,555 words in length. We also accept up to 10 poems, up to 255 words per poem. For longer or shorter works, please inquire. We are also looking for examples of visual art: painting, illustrations, mixed media, photography, etc. Visual artists can submit between 5 to 10 pieces. Don't send originals, but high quality digital files.

All genres and sub-genres, such as steampunk, are welcomed, but no "fan fiction" or use of characters and settings you do not have the rights to. Work should have a reasonably clear Lao connection.

This anthology is requesting one-time electronic and print rights, after which further publication rights revert to the creator. A physical contributor's copy and e-book copy are provided and a small stipend. Approximately 20 artists and writers will be selected for this project.

To Submit:
We accept RTF files by e-mail only. Put the words: LAO ANTHOLOGY in the subject line with your name. Double spaced manuscript in Times New Roman. Use italics, not underlines when necessary. Use of Laoglish is fine and encouraged, but absolutely NO italicizing Lao words.  Good grammar and spelling appreciated. No simultaneous submissions.

Have your contact information of the first page of the manuscript including e-mail address. Visual art submissions should be able to be reproduced well in black and white and sent as a digital file at 600 dpi or higher. Portrait orientation preferred, but landscape orientation accepted.

Deadline Extended to: March 1st, 2012. If you need more time, send us an e-mail of what you'd like to submit and how much time you need to complete it.

Send submissions or additional questions to: or twitter @thaoworra.