Sunday, June 12, 2016

Laos in the House recap of the 3rd National Lao American Writers Summit

Catzie Vilayphonh and the folks at Laos in the House did a great video that recaps many of the highlights of the 3rd National Lao American Writers Summit in San Diego this year.

A big thanks to everyone for all of the wonderful memories and the doors we've opened up for each other in the coming years ahead! Can't wait to see what comes together for Seattle!

It meant a lot to us that so many of you came out to see the emerging and established writers and artists in our community, and that we were able to share our experiences and opportunities with one another. One of the highlights of the weekend was seeing March 28th declared Lao American Writers Day by the California Legislature, which also coincided with the birthday of Little Laos on the Prairie founder Chanida Phaengdara Potter.

There were some wonderful conversations on the traditional arts, the new arts, and what is coming up next for everyone, and how we can help. This year we had artists and community builders from California, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Minnesota, Washington, Illinois, Ohio, Hawaii, Nevada, North Carolina, Florida, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Paris, and Washington D.C.

California cities represented included Stockton, Fresno, Merced, Modesto, Dublin, San Francisco, Ukiah, San Diego, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Fullerton, Sacramento, and many others.

I want to give a big personal thanks to everyone who was so supportive of my work, and purchased copies of my book, Tanon Sai Jai from the Sahtu Press table. It was also great to see so much support for so many of my fellow Sahtu Press authors, including Nor Sanavongsay and his children's book A Sticky Mess, and Krysada Panusith Phounsiri's Dance Among Elephants It was wonderful catching up with so many returning friends and new ones.

Overall, over 400 people came by throughout the weekend. Our Summit chair, Krysada Panusith Phounsiri shared his refelctions on the event recently over at Sahtu Press. Little Laos on the Prairie writer Leslie Chanthaphasouk also did a nice write up on the gathering. Hopefully we'll see some more reflections in the weeks ahead. There was a lot to process. Next year, the gathering will convene in Seattle, Washington.

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