Monday, June 27, 2016

Lao textiles and 2010 Enduring Vision Award recipient - Bounxou Daoheuang Chanthraphone

There are some Lao who now think machine-made is superior and cheaper, but I hope a few in the next generation will still appreciate and collect the hand-made work.

For a good discussion on how much work goes into a traditional piece of Lao textiles and clothing, here's a great 2010 interview with NEA Heritage Fellow Bounxou Chanthraphone of Minnesota. At the time, she had just received the inaugural Enduring Vision Award from the Bush Foundation. She took the time to explain her art and the meticulous process it requires. In that same year, she received an Asian Pacific American Leadership Award from the state Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans that I nominated her for.

 Sometimes a piece can take up to 8 months to finish.


Dr Tom Dooley at Thanksgiving 1956 in Vang Vieng, Laos

60 years ago, Dr. Tom Dooley and his team began a philanthropic effort to set up their first hospital in Laos, which was completed in 1956. He and his assistants shot a video of their work in Vang Vieng to show Americans the positive work they were doing to encourage donations and additional foreign aid to help Lao development.

He chronicled much of his experience in Southeast Asia in his books "Deliver Us from Evil," "The Edge of Tomorrow," and "The Night They Burned the Mountain."

For historical context, this is two years after the battle of Dien Bien Phu and Laos gaining independence and recognition from the United Nations.


Cover revealed for Uncanny Magazine #11

My poem, "Phaya Nak Goes to the West" appears in the July 2016 issue of Uncanny Magazine. The cover is “Those Who Came First” by Antonio Caparo. My fellow poets in this issue are “Good Neighbors” by Jessica P. Wick and “The Persecution of Witches” by Ali Trotta.

A big thanks to everyone who's been so supportive of Uncanny Magazine as they create a professional space for diverse writers in science fiction and fantasy, especially for poets. Be sure to check out their podcasts, too, for some really exciting and interesting ideas!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

RIP Photographer Fan Ho (1931-2016)

Chinese photographer Fan Ho died of pneumonia on Sunday, June 19th, 2016 in San Jose, California. he leaves a wonderful and amazing portfolio of work that any photographer would envy, with an exceptional vision well worth remembering.

Be sure to visit to get a sense of his range, which pushed the limits of what we might ask of photography.