Thursday, December 22, 2016

Lao Spoken Word Artist Saymoukda Duangphouxay Vongsay receives Immersion Grant

The Loft Literary Center recently announced that Saymoukda Duangphouxay Vongsay is a recipient of the 2017 Spoken Word Immersion Grant. It’s a rare thing for Minnesotans to hold a double-win of an Intermedia Arts Verve Spoken Word Grant and a Loft Literary Center Spoken Word Grant in the same year.

The Loft Spoken Word Immersion Fellowship is for artists of color and Indigenous artists and provides writers financial support and professional assistance to develop and implement community learning and enrichment plans. Winners receive grants of $7,500 to underwrite projects of their own design. At least one winner will be a Minnesota resident. Four winners are selected each year. She will travel MN 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.

She 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 is a teaching artist with COMPAS, Success Beyond the Classroom, East Metro Integration District, and the East Side Arts Council.

Her 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. You can visit her online at

Founded in 1974 (incorporated in 1975), The Loft Literary Center is one of the nation's leading literary arts centers. The Loft advances the artistic development of writers, fosters a thriving literary community, and inspires a passion for literature. Their core values are that literature is essential, writing can be taught, inclusiveness is imperative, boldness brings excellence, community makes us strong, and wise management fuels our success.

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