Thursday, October 23, 2014

Volume 5 of Lao Studies Journal now available

The latest issue of the Lao Studies Journal is up and available now at:

The Journal of Lao Studies is published twice per year by the Center for Lao Studies, 65 Ninth Street, San Francisco, CA, 94103, USA. For more information, see the CLS website at

This journal provides open access to content contained in every issue except the current issue, which is open to members of the Center for Lao Studies. Once a new issue is published, the contents of this issue will be made freely available. They agree with the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge. Authors who publish with this journal retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in the journal.

Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal. Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work. For all others requesting permission to republish, resell, or repurpose material, please contact the CLS at

Global Taxi Driver issues thank you

TeAda Productions recently sent out a thank you to all the supporters of Global Taxi Driver this past summer!

Following the work-in-progress open rehearsal at East West Players in Los Angeles, the show traveled to the Twin Cities for the world premiere at Intermedia Arts. Between August and September the show underwent a tremendous transformation that brought together an ensemble of six performers from two cities to create a dynamic, energetic ensemble show that sparked dialogue and highlighted immigrant communities in the Twin Cities.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Laos in the House calls for Scary Stories

It's October and the organizers of Laos in the House want hear your scariest stories! Submit the most frightening moments, or maybe just tell them a really good ghost story, or perhaps that weird eerie thing that happened to you that one time you couldn't explain. Don't be scared, all stories welcomed.

Submit here:

Monday, October 20, 2014

Sahtu Press announces next book, poetry by Krysada Binly Panusith Phounsiri

Lao American publisher Sahtu Press announced their forthcoming next title, Dance Among Elephants, by  Krysada Binly Panusith Phounsiri. This will be his first book.

An international performer, Krysada Binly Panusith Phounsiri is a Lao American who came to the U.S. when he was 2. He is now a resident of San Diego. He began writing poetry at age 11. Dance Among Elephants will have poetry and photography, mostly previously unpublished material. 

Founded in 2013, Sahtu Press specializes in works by Laotian American writers and artists.Their first book was the children's book A Sticky Mess, by award-winning Lao artist and author Nor Sanavongsay, which told one of the classic stories of the Lao trickster figure, Xieng Mieng. They expect to release Dance Among Elephants in December, 2014.

Inspirations: Thep Thavonsouk and Bryan Thao Worra

One of the things that poet Bryan Thao Worra often tells his students is that good writing means being able to draw inspiration from other experiences, other artists. He walks the talk on this subject. One of his poems, "Discussing Principles of Art with Laotians" was published at Cha, a Hong Kong-based literary journal earlier this year. In this poem, Bryan Thao Worra employs his characteristic polylingual technique as he writes about Lao artists grappling with principles of classical Chinese art in Laoglish.

One of the key inspirations for this poem was a meeting with the master Lao painter Thep Thavonsouk, whose work can be found at Thao Worra first came across the work of Thep Thavonsouk in 2001 during discussions at the SatJaDham Lao Literary Project conference in Minnesota. He had a chance to actually meet Thep Thavonsouk in person in 2002 while convening the "Five Senses Show" an exhibition of Lao and Hmong art at the Babylon Gallery on Lake Street in Minneapolis. It had a profound effect on his approach to writing.

Various forms of "Discussing Principles of Art with Laotians" were written in the time since but never formally published until 2014. This October, Bryan Thao Worra met Thep Thavonsouk again, this time during the Beverly Hills artShow in California, where they caught up and saw how much progress each other had made, while still remaining true to the artistic spirit that drove them to their paths in the first place. They promised each other it would not be another 12 years before they met again.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Souvankham Thammavongsa wins Trillium and CBC Bookie Award

Lao literature marked a major milestone this year. Lao Canadian writer Souvankham Thammavongsa’s book Light won the CBC Bookie Award for Best Book of Canadian Poetry.

Souvankham Thammavongsa was born in Nong Khai, Thailand, in 1978. Now a resident of Ontario, her third poetry collection, Light, was launched in Toronto on September 12th, ten years after the launch of her first book Small Arguments, also by Pedlar Press.

The New Quarterly readers named her Best Beloved Canadian Poet and she recently won the Trillium Award for her writing.

Lao American science fiction artists wins Book of the Year

In September, the Science Fiction Poetry Association announced that Lao American writer Bryan Thao Worra and Vongduane Manivong's book of art and poetry, "DEMONSTRA," won the 2014 Elgin Award for Book of the Year. Thao Worra currently resides in North California, where he works as a non-profit grant writer specializing in the arts and Southeast Asian refugee issues.

"DEMONSTRA" was released in 2013 by Canadian publisher Innsmouth Free Press and features the original visual artwork of Texas-based artist Vongduane Manivong, who exhibits nationally. Both artists' families are from Vientiane. They first met in 2002 and collaborated previously with Manivong providing the cover for his second book, "BARROW."

The timing of the award is particularly exciting for the community as it prepares to mark 40 years of the Lao Diaspora in 2015.

Established in 1978, the Science Fiction Poetry Association has almost 300 members internationally. The Elgin Award is named after SFPA founder Suzette Haden Elgin.

In the chapbook category, the winner was Helen Marshall's 2013 book "The Sex Lives of Monsters" from Kelp Queen Press.

Additional details can be found at the SFPA Website:

Lao Diaspora Project seeks submissions

Do you have photos worth a thousand words? Does it tell a story about your family’s history? Does it reflect who you are? Does it speak of the journey of where you came from and where you are now?

Little Laos on the Prairie, in collaboration with Laos in the House and artist Chantala Kommanivanh, want to share your story, and those of friends and family! Please spread the word and learn more at:

The Lao community’s stories will help educate the public and officials about our shared journey that has been left out of mainstream history. This is a chance for your story to be honored and featured on Little Laos on the Prairie’s website, highlighted in a mini-booklet, turned into a painting, and/or shared in a public gallery, and it’s an opportunity to reflect, relate and learn from others in the Lao Diaspora.