Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Our Shared Journey: A Symposium on 40 Years of Lao in the United States

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.

Southeast Asian Legacies Symposium to feature Little Laos on the Prairie Editor Chanida Phaengdara Potter

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.

Lao American Poet to be featured as Guest of Honor at Midwest Science Fiction Convention

Laotian American poet Bryan Thao Worra has announced that he will be one of the Guests of Honor at the 2015 CONvergence convention in Minnesota this July. CONvergence is an annual convention for fans of Science Fiction and Fantasy in all media: a 4-day event with more than 6,000 members, and the premiere event of its kind in the upper mid-west. This year's theme is Doubleplusgood,

This is a great milestone for Laos and our poetry tradition. As a Lao American writer he has worked tirelessly to redefine the limits of Lao writing and our expectations of it. His most recent book DEMONSTRA won the Elgin Award from the Science Fiction Poetry Association for Book of the Year. As the note in his bio:
Bryan Thao Worra is an award-winning Lao-American writer. He holds over 20 awards including an NEA Fellowship in Literature, and is the author of 6 books with writing appearing in over 100 international publications. His work has been featured in Tales of the Unanticipated, Innsmouth Free Press, Journal of the Asian American Renaissance, Dark Wisdom, G-Fan, Astropoetica, Expanded Horizons, Uncanny Magazine, Strange Horizons, Lakeside Circus, and more. 
He is the first Lao American professional member of the Horror Writer Association and is an officer of the Science Fiction Poetry Association. He is the Creative Works Editor of the Journal on Southeast Asian American Education and Advancement. 
Bryan Thao Worra’s work is on display at the Smithsonian’s national traveling exhibit, “I Want the Wide American Earth: An Asian Pacific American Story.” He represented the nation of Laos in 2012 as a Cultural Olympian during the London Summer Games...  
You can learn more about Bryan Thao Worra at his blog,, and follow him on Twitter as @thaoworra.

Laos in the House: Voices from Four Decades of the Lao Diaspora coming in March!

Lao Spoken Word Artist and community activist Catzie Vilayphonh in Philadelphia had an exciting announcement this week:
"After what seems like years of preparation, we are proud to announce the opening of our very gallery first exhibit "Laos in the House: Voices from Four Decades of the Lao Diaspora" running from March 6 - May 1, 2015 at the Asian Arts Initiative. Presented for the very first time in Philadelphia, this visual exhibit from Lao American artists reflects over 40 years in diaspora. 
Featuring historic war drawings by survivors of the U.S. bombings, illustrations of refugee camp photos, and digital interpretations of Lao folk tales, this integration of storytelling with art seeks to engage community members to share their own personal stories, adding their voices to the larger collective narrative that makes them uniquely Lao American."
It's going to be really exciting for our community, which has been waiting for an event like this in Philadelphia for a very long time. We hope the community comes through and appreciates the tremendous effort it takes for her! Their official website is at where you can see all of the exciting things they've been doing.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Lao Writer Saymoukda Vongsay to appear at Equilibrium Supershow during AWP: April 10th, 2015

EQ at AWP Supershow reading featuring Patricia Smith and the hottie Regie Cabico with an epic line up of some nationally recognized writers and artists including Lao American writer Saymoukda Vongsay at the Loft Literary Center on April 10th. Be sure to check her out if you get a chance to go.