Friday, April 18, 2014

ArtSlant announces Georgia Fee Artist/Writer Residency Shortlist

ArtSlant, the global contemporary arts network and magazine, has released its shortlist of applicants for the Georgia Fee Residency, Summer Term 2014. This is a paid, two-month residency that takes place in the Montparnasse neighborhood of Paris.


Rachel Adams, Curator and Writer, Austin, TX
Assaf Evron, Photographer, Chicago, IL
Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, Visual Artist, Brooklyn, NY
Laura Mclean-Ferris, Arts Writer, London, UK / New York, NY
Kelly Fordon, Writer, Detroit, MI
Steve Fossey, Artist and Lecturer, Nottingham, UK
Kaitlin Freewind, Visual Artist, Brooklyn, NY
Shannan Lee Hayes, Installation Artist, Durham, NC
Edgar Mosa, Jeweler and Sculptor, New York, NY
Lorena Muñoz-Alonso, Arts Writer and Critic, London, UK
Jamilee Polson Lacy, Writer and Curator, Chicago, IL
Sara Shaoul, Video and Performance Artist, Brooklyn, NY
Walker Thisted, Video Artist, Chicago, IL
Joseph R. Varisco, Historian and Curator, Chicago, IL
Lindsay Preston Zappas, Visual Artist, Los Angeles, CA

From this shortlist our panel will select the residency recipient, which will be announced in early May.

This is the second year ArtSlant has organized this residency. The residency takes place in July and August; applications for the Winter term (January/February, 2015) will open in July/August.

The Georgia Fee Artist/Writer Residency was established in memory of ArtSlant's Founder who passed away December 8th, 2012. Georgia was dedicated to supporting and investing in young artists and writers, and she had a deep connection with the city of Paris. This residency, which offers artists and writers the opportunity to create work in Paris, has been created in Georgia's memory.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

[Poem] Laos In The House

As part of National Poetry Month, and to call attention to Catzie Vilayphonh's current efforts to raise funds for the Laos In The House project to bring Laotian American artists from across the US to Philadelphia for the first time, here is a more modern iteration of my poem "Laos In The House" from 2009, which first appeared in my book Tanon Sai Jai. You can check out the Laos In The House indiegogo campaign at:

Laos In The House

When has a house gone Lao?
There may not be one precise event.

It's not just the first time a fresh batch of padaek is made by grandma.
It takes more than a few servings of tom mak hung in the kitchen.

A six-pack of cold Heinekens and BeerLao in the creaking cooler,
Bottles of very fine cognac and homemade rice whiskey 
Can't combine by themselves in the cabinet
For this magic moment, awaiting the change like good guests,
Or a cluttered porch of friendly shoes and worn sandals.

Yes, a living room baci calls many things, so can talk of pi mai lao 
Or makeshift shelves for those Lao icons we all know so well,
But even a happy nop in the hall is not all that's needed for transformation. 

Such a house does not require Lao dramas, but it's surprising
If those don't eventually show up, as certain as
A child's tears from their first taste of jaew at the family table. 

Scents of mint and bamboo and barbecues sunk into the beams?
Watching someone live out their silapin dreams in a basement
Just because they found a microphone and synthesizer? 
Not the sole keys, and neither is a sincere khop jai, surprisingly. 

Maybe you invited mae and I and all of my family from every corner.
We might speak of numbers and lotteries and years as refugees,
Host to a thousand small arguments and soft mangos,
Memories of Chinatowns, gilded wats and the buildings of antiquity. 

These all build a house, a nation, a people holding together. 
And in that house there will be dreams, things lost and things sought.
One by one, they shuffle in with a bright smile white as grains of warm khao. 

But a house has gone Lao only when the hearts within have chosen so,
Free as the wind, remembering like stones, 
Growing flowers for moving stars. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Meanwhile, Sharing Knowledge with the Smithsonian for Lao New Year :)

Catzie Vilayphonh and I recently had fun helping the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center put together a fun meme for this year's Lao New Year. It's currently making its way around Twitter and Pinterest. :)

Last day to back Excelsior: An Inspired Steampunk Pen and Paper RPG

Today's the last day with only 10 hours left to back it, but Excelsior is an e-book set of rules for a steampunk roleplaying game. For $15 you can name an adventurer, or at higher levels, name inventions (within reason) that characters can create and/or discover. I'm particularly enthused because the head of one major faction in this game is going to be Lao (or Lao-ish. It's a steampunk setting, after all.)