It's nice to find out my old poem "Modern Life" was selected to be reprinted in the Saint Paul Almanac 10-year retrospective, as well as the work of fellow Lao American writer Saymoukda Duangphouxay Vongsay!
They're doing the book release on September 10th in St. Paul, and it promises to be a wonderful gathering.
"Modern Life" was an interesting poem for me to look back on because there's so much that remains relevant to today in regards to Hmong and Lao youth and the relationship to the police, and yet there's also so much that's changed in the youth culture, as well as the geography of St. Paul that it no longer can happen "literally".
On my next visit to St. Paul, I'll have to take a picture of the former lot in question to illustrate it. I wish now that I'd had the camera on hand to take a picture of the original incidents which sparked this poem, but then I remember that I wrote the poem in the first place because I didn't have a camera readily available. And even if I had, it wouldn't have been able to capture everything that I would have wanted to catch for this moment in time.
The formal celebration will start on September 10th at 7pm in Lowertown Saint Paul at Black Dog Café, AZ Gallery, and the old Clouds and Water Zen Center Space:
308 Prince Street, Saint Paul, 55101.
Be sure to stop by and see all of the other wonderful artists who've been a part of this literary tradition for the last decade. They've published over 939 writers, poets and artists over the years including Connie Wanek, Nimo Farah, Carol Connolly, Yusef Mgeni, Phebe Hanson, IBé, Louis Alemayehu, Saymoukda Duangphouxay Vongsay, Rodrigo Sanchez-Chavarria, Emmanuel Ortiz, Garrison Keillor, J. Otis Powell?!, Mary Kay Rummel, Margaret Hasse, Rose McGee, Cary Waterman, and Mike Hazard.
Here's to the next 100 years for them!