Monday, December 12, 2016

2016 Asian American Poetry Books

In case you missed it, Bryan Thao Worra did a roundup of the Asian American poetry books and chapbooks printed in 2016. While there were no chapbooks by Lao American poets this year, it was still a largely successful year with almost 50 Asian American poets successfully having their poetry collections published. Congratulations to everyone!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Water~Stone Review features Laotian, Hmong writers

“An Exchange in Ukiah, CA, 2557” is in the 2016 issue of Water~Stone Review. Written by Bryan Thao Worra, it’s exciting to see poetry from Lao writers included. Be sure to check it out along with all of the other wonderful writers featured in their latest issue, which is centered on the theme of “Paper Bones.” They held their Annual Reading and Reception on Friday, Nov. 11 at 7PM at Kay Fredericks Hall in the Klas Center on the Hamline University campus in Saint Paul. There was a brief public reception after the reading.

This issue is also noteworthy for its inclusion of four award-winning Hmong writers: Soul Choj Vang, Mai Der Vang, Kao Kalia Yang, and May Lee Yang.  Water~Stone Review is a literary annual published by the The Creative Writing Programs at Hamline University. The review publishes work in all genres as well as essay/reviews and writers’ interviews. Features include three contests and photography curated by students at the Minneapolis College of Art & Design.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Mattie Do makes news for Lao cinema

It's a good year for Lao horror with the release of Mattie Do's second feature film, Dearest Sister, which is getting some serious notice.

Wired Magazine, has a new profile, “Mattie Do, Laos’ Sole Female Director, Scares Up Attention With Dearest Sister,” by Nathan Mattise. Fortune Magazine’s column “The World’s Most Powerful Women” cited her for their November 2016 issue. NBC News also just featured her in the article "As Laos’ First Female Filmmaker, Mattie Do Shows What’s ‘Behind the Doors."

This is a very exciting development for Lao cinema and will hopefully encourage many more to join her in her vision and celebrate her success which has been so hard-earned.

Lao American poet presenting at LOSCON 2016

Coming up this weekend:

As the new President of the Science Fiction Poetry Association, Bryan Thao Worra will be discussing Speculative Poetry at 5pm this Saturday at LOSCON in Los Angeles, and will be there throughout the day to meet with poets and readers along all points of the speculative literature continuum!  
He'll be speaking along with noted SFF scholars and writers Jaymee Goh and Nikia Chaney! 
Per the panel description: Speculative poetry is a rising professional field in our infinitely diverse genre! The Science Fiction Poetry Association elected Bryan Thao Worra as its new president; new markets have arisen offering professional rates for cutting-edge poetic forms; new stars are coming out of the poetry field exploring the speculative in what is a very experimental form. Find out more about where you can read such works and where the field might head into next!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Knight Arts Challenge recognizes art of Laotian artists

Saymoukda Vongsay, May Lee-Yang and Naomi Ko were recently awarded a Knight Arts Challenge grant of $45,000 for their “Empowering Asian Women Through Comedy” project under the group name of Funny Asian Women…K (FAWK)

The Knight Arts Challenge funds the best ideas for engaging and enriching communities through the arts. In 2016, They were giving away a total of $8 million to grassroots ideas in four cities: Akron, Ohio, Detroit, South Florida and St. Paul, Minnesota.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Interview with Lao Animator behind Cool Town Creations

Did you catch the Little Laos on the Prairie interview with Carol Rasaphangthong, founder of Cool Town Creations. You don't often hear about Lao American artists who are working in film and stop-motion animation, so this is a very positive step towards what will hopefully be growing field for many of us. It's worth comparing it to the journey of Iowa-based educator and digital animator Peter Chanthanakone.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Laotian American poem in Mekong Review

Laotian American poet Krysada Panusith Phounsiri is featured in the November 2016-January 2017 issue of Mekong Review.

Also noted in this issue are poets Maung Philar and Khai Q. Nguyen. Founded in October, 2015, Mekong Review is a quarterly literary journal publishing fiction, essays, reviews and poetry from and about Southeast Asia.

Krysada Panusith Phounsiri is a Lao-American artist and engineer. He was born in Laos in 1988 and came to America with his family in 1989. A graduate of UC Berkeley in 2010, he holds a degree in Physics and Astrophysics Double Major and also a minor in Poetry. His debut collection is Dance Among Elephants, was published by Sahtu Press in 2015. His work has been featured in the Journal of Southeast Asian American Education and Advancement and the Smithsonian’s “A Day In The Life Of Asian America” digital exhibit. He recently received first place for Poem of the Year in the Rhysling Awards of the Science Fiction Poetry Association.

Monday, October 24, 2016

MELUS features Lao American poetry of Saymoukda Duangphouxay Vongsay

Lao American Writers Summit co-founder Saymoukda Duangphouxay Vongsay‘s poetry is studied in a new article in Melus by Tim August! Look for MELUS Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States Volume 41, Number 3 Fall 2016

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Blind Lao khaeng master receives US highest honor for folk arts

“Meet the Laotian Master Musician Who Won America’s Highest Folk Arts Award” is a good profile on the Fresno-based Laotian master musician Bounxeung Synanonh, who recently received the NEA Heritage Fellowship.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Lao mural unveiled in Chicago

Congratulations to Chantala Kommanivanh. He and his students recently unveiled their 2016 summer mural project in conjunction with Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Chicago. The mural will be installed at their offices in Uptown, Chicago.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Lao American Theater Artist featured in Asians Doing Everything

Asians Doing Everything recently highlighted the work of theater artist Samson Syharath in Portland Oregon. We're looking forward to hearing more from him in the future. Will he become as well known as Lidet Viravong, Ova Saopeng, Leilaini Chan, Kulap Vilaysack, or K.P. Phagnasay? Only time will tell!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Souvankham Thammavongsa up for The Journey Prize

The Journey Prize announced a rare “double double” this year. Congratulations to Souvankham Thammavongsa on having a second story longlisted for the 2016 Journey Prize! Her story “Paris” was first published by Ricepaper. Her story “Mani Pedi” first appeared in Puritan Magazine.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

CTRL+ALT coming to New York City

On November 12 and 13 the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center will present Ctrl+Alt: A Culture Lab on Imagined Futures – taking place in the former site of the Pearl River Mart in SOHO NYC as an arena to explore the future of our nation, neighborhood and selves.

The weekend will feature 40+ artists and scholars doing their thing, from adrienne maree brown to Yumi Sakugawa, including Lao American artist Saymoukda Duangphouxay Vongsay and Bryan Thao Worra. This is a free event. The event will be held at 477 Broadway, from 11AM to 9PM.

Bryan Thao Worra is the president of the Science Fiction Poetry Association, an international literary organization celebrating the poetry of the imaginative and the fantastic. A Lao American writer, he holds over 20 awards for his work including an NEA Fellowship in Literature and was a Cultural Olympian representing Laos during the 2012 London Summer Games. The author of 6 books,his work appears internationally including Australia, Canada, Scotland, Germany, France, Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, Korea, and Pakistan.

You can visit him online at for more news on Asian American science fiction, fantasy, and horror.

Saymoukda Duangphouxay Vongsay is a Lao American writer. She was born in a refugee camp in Nongkhai, Thailand and immigrated to Minnesota in 1984. Because of her unique background, her work is focused on creating tools and spaces for the amplification of refugee voices through poetry, theater, and experimental cultural production. She is a teaching artist with COMPAS, Success Beyond the Classroom, East Metro Integration District, and the East Side Arts Council. Her writings can be found in such publications as Saint Paul Almanac (Arcata Press), Lessons For Our Time (MN Center for Book Arts), Journal of Southeast Asian American Education and Advancement (Purdue University Press), and The Asian American Literary Review (Binghamton University). Her work has been possible due to support from the Jerome Foundation, Bush Foundation, Joyce Foundation, Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, and the MN State Arts Board. She is best known for her award-winning play KUNG FU ZOMBIES VS CANNIBALS (Theater Mu) and is developing two more plays for the KUNG FU ZOMBIEVERSE anthology of stage works.

You can visit her at

Monday, September 12, 2016

Bryan Thao Worra elected SFPA President

The Science Fiction Poetry Association has announced that Lao American poet Bryan Thao Worra has been elected as the organization’s new president. Thao Worra will be the first Lao American to lead a speculative literature organization.

The Science Fiction Poetry Association connects international members interested in science fiction poetry, in addition poetry featuring fantasy horror and other imaginative elements in part or in whole. You can visit their website at

Each year, the SFPA publishes two journals, Star*Line and Eye to the Telescope, and oversees three major literary awards for poetry: The Rhyslings, the Dwarf Stars, and the Elgin Awards.

The association also conducts an annual science fiction poetry contest and other special events. The SFPA further provides resources for emerging and established poets seeking  publication at professional and semi-pro levels. There are presently six Science Fiction Poetry Grandmasters: Marge Simon (2015), Steve Sneyd (2015), Jane Yolen (2010), Ray Bradbury (2008), Robert Frazier (2005), and Bruce Boston (1999).

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

New poem from Lao American poet Phayvanh Luekhamhan

Lao American poet Phayvanh Luekhamhan recently shared a new poem of hers, “Strange Woods” at her website Phayanh Luekhamhan is one of the only Lao to have ever gone through the Kundiman Fellow program. She is the author of “I Think of This Every Time I Think of Mountains,” with Souphine Phathsoungneune.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Lao artists recognized in Fresno

Lao American writer and artist Nor Sanavongsay and Alisak Sanavongsay who were among those recognized with a Community Appreciation Award from the Laotian American Community of Fresno on Saturday, August 27th. The awards were presented as part of the organization’s annual gala. The two Sanavongsays received their awards for their outstanding community service and leadership across the United States and in the state of California.

Lao American Writers Summit Cups available

Lao American poet Krysada Panusith Phounsiri reminds you, souvenir coffee cups are available if you forgot to get one at the Lao American Writers Summit in San Diego this May. Contact for more details.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Lao writer to present at Laotian National Conference

Award-winning poet Krysada Panusith Phounsiri will be among those attending the Laotian National Conference in Las Vegas! He’ll have copies of his debut book from “Dance Among Elephants” for sale there or you can order one from Sahtu Press, Inc.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Lao American Writers Summit going to Seattle

Following the successful conclusion of the 3rd National Lao American Writers Summit in San Diego this May, organizers announced that the next gathering would be held in Seattle, Washington with the Kinnaly Seattle and the Pom Foundation taking the lead as the fiscal sponsors. Further details will be announced in the coming months ahead. The National Lao American Writers Summit began in 2010 in Minneapolis as an effort to create a space that would mentor and support the first and emerging generation of Lao American writers. The 2nd National Lao American Writers Summit was convened in Minneapolis in 2015.

Friday, March 11, 2016

10th Annual Lao Educational Conference (ALEC) coming March

The Lao American Advancement Organization is bringing the 10th Annual Lao Education Conference to Sacramento State University to help Lao youth on March 29th. It's a free conference for all middle/high school Lao American students in Sacramento City Unified School District or the Twin Rivers Unified School District. For adults, a $30 registration is appreciated but not required.
For more information you can visit:

Call for Art: Intersectionalities: Defining the Lao American Narrative in Visual Arts

Laos in the House founder Catzie Vilayphonh is teaming up with artist Sayon Syprasoeuth for a show called "Intersectionalities: Defining the Lao American Narrative in Visual Arts."

The aim is to "develop our very first community-based exhibition for the LAWS commemorative exhibition Intersectionalities: Defining the Lao American Narrative in Visual Arts, opening April 29 to May 28, 2016 at the Centro Cultural De La Raza in San Diego. The closing of this specially curated exhibition will also coincide with the 2-day LAWS conference taking place May 27-28th 2016."

The Lao American Writers Summit is looking for artworks by individual and collaborating artists that directly or indirectly relate to the topic: How would you define the Lao American experiences? How does your work establish our histories? How does it project the imagery of Lao America moving forward?

Potential themes for artworks include but are not limited to:
• Everyone has a story to tell, a story line, a time-line, personal experiences
• Key words: war, refugee camp, travel, arrival, family, assimilation, language, work, roots
• Different shades of the Lao American experience: ie American born/Asian born, new immigrants, refugees, 2nd/3rd/4th generation
• Lao American in the arts; defying stereotypes, contemporary vs traditional
• Experience of race, racism; prejudice within community
• Who is Lao/Laotian American?
• Context of Lao American in the broader community of APIA identity
• Lao in Asian American Studies; historical inclusions; political intellectualization

Submissions are open to people of all ages, ethnicities, and backgrounds who identify as Lao and/or Laotian American, or those who have a connection to Lao neighborhoods, and Lao/Laotian American communities at large. All contemporary visual artworks will be considered, including digital media, performance (in video format) and social practices such as community-based engagement workshops. In addition to providing an original work or works for the exhibition, selected artists may be asked to participate in a moderated discussion about their work or other supplemental public programming.

Please send all materials electronically to Please submit no more than five separate works (a series of related works may be considered). Submissions should include:

• Contact Info. Your name, phone number, email address, mailing address on each page of materials and artist website address, if any.
• A brief statement. Submit as a PDF and include (1 page max):
1) Your connection to the Lao/Laotian American community;
2) How your submission relates to the exhibition theme(s);
3) A description of artwork images and/or submitted files;
4) Technical needs for exhibition, if any.
• Artist info. Submit an artist statement and bio as a PDF (1 page max).
• Work samples. Add as an attachment or link, submit images of artwork in .JPG or .PNG formats (2550 x 3300 pixels or less). Submit multimedia artwork (5 minutes max each) via an online link only.  For each image or file, detail: 1) Title, 2) Date, 3) Medium/media, 4) Size and 5) Brief Description

All submissions must be received via email by 11:59PM PST on Sunday, April 10, 2016.

PROCESS Submitted work will be reviewed in mid April 2016. Artists will be notified by email if their work has been selected by April 18.

DELIVERY LAWS has a limited budget for shipping/transporting artworks that are selected for the exhibition. If your work is selected you may be asked to cover a portion of this expense (with the exception of digital prints, to be produced locally in San Diego by a partner company).

Images of selected work may be displayed on LAWS’ website and social media channels, as well as by LAWS sponsors and partners in promotional and educational materials.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Lao Youth Arts Exhibition with Aloun Phoulavan

On March 12th, from 1-3pm you can meet Aloun Phoulavan, Christopher Khounabanam, and the young artists of the Our Stories: Laos youth art exhibition at the Ramsey County Library in Roseville for their opening reception. Featuring Lao food and a special musical performance, the exhibit showcases the work Lao American visual artists Aloun Phoulavan and Christopher Khounbanam did throughout 2015 with Lao youth in Minnesota. The library is located at 2180 Hamline Avenue North in Roseville.