Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Laotian American writer Saymoukda Duangphouxay Vongsay sweeps spoken word fellowships

Over at Lao Poetry Online, they're noting that Saymoukda Duangphouxay Vongsay recently announced she will be the resident Poet of Payne Avenue in Saint Paul, Minnesota thanks to a grant from the MN State Arts Board and a partnership with the East Side Arts Council.

This follows fast on the news that the Loft Literary Center announced that Saymoukda Duangphouxay Vongsay of Minneapolis is a recipient of the 2017 Spoken Word Immersion Fellowship, as well as the recipient of the Intermedia Arts Verve Grant for Spoken Word.

Amog her projects anticipated for 2017, Vongsay will travel Minnesota to have conversations with ethnic Lao survivors of the Vietnam War. She will then create a new body of work inspired by their stories and produce video poems. Vongsay 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 was a recipient of the 2010 Alfred C. Carey Prize in Spoken Word and the 2016 Intermedia Arts Verve Spoken Word Grant.

 Vongsay’s 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). 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. Read more about Vongsay online at

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