Poetry, science fiction, fantasy, horror, and culture from a Lao American perspective.
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
My Year In Review!
Saturday, December 20, 2008
In the News
I also have a new poem featured in the latest issue of Whistling Shade.
Northography also has a nice blurb about my recent NEA Fellowship.
Over 1,000 New Species Found in the Mekong
519 plants, 279 fish, 88 frogs, 88 spiders, 46 lizards, 22 snakes, 15 mammals, four birds, four turtles, two salamanders and a toad have been found so far. They're finding new species almost at a rate of 2 per week, but even as we make new discoveries, some are disappearing thanks to human development and destruction of their habitats.
We can only hope that more is done to proactively protect these fascinating creatures and our region's heritage of unique biodiversity. Hopefully we'll get the opportunity to highlight other creatures in the near future on this blog.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Katie Ka Vang Chapbook Release!
She has amazing opening acts and a possible eggroll fundraiser her niece might be doing. There are several reasons to attend this event including:
* Awesome opening acts: May Lee Yang, Victoria Vang and The Dirty Darlings (all whom are youtubeable)
* Get eggrolls
* Support Katie by buying her first chapbook, "Never Said" !!!
Katie Ka Vang is a Hmong-American Performance artist and writer. She was a 2007 recipient of the Jerome Naked Stages grant where she created a one woman show called 5:1 Meaning of Freedom; 6:2 Use of Sharpening, and is a 2008 recipient of Artist Initiative grant through the Minnesota State Arts Board.
She has performed in different theater companies, schools, open mics, etc. She was in two productions this fall, Sia(b) by May Lee yang; and Asiamnesia by Sunmee Chomet and ensemble.
For more information please check out her website on www.myspace.com/emptyyks
A Letter from Intermedia Arts
- For over 35 years, Intermedia Arts has served as a resource for our community. The work that we do supports hundreds of artists, arts participants and arts organizations each year. Intermedia Arts is a vital part of our culture and our community: we cannot—we must not—allow this work to disappear.
So, What Are We Going to Do About It?
We are going to act, and we need you to act with us. Intermedia Arts can survive this economy. We can even come out on the other side stronger and more sustainable than ever before. But in order to do that, we have to make huge changes in the way we operate, and we have to make them immediately:
•In January 2009, Intermedia Arts will be moving our five full-time staff members to contract or hourly positions. The work that we do as an organization will be done by our Executive/Artistic Director, Theresa Sweetland; our board of directors; current staff members working as independent contractors, and community volunteers.
•As of January 9th, we will open only for scheduled events, mostly in the evenings. We will be closing our gallery and eliminating our gallery and poetry library hours but will be expanding our rental programming in our theater, gallery and classrooms. Our building is a valuable asset to the arts community, and we encourage you to look to us for your upcoming rental needs.
•We are currently working with other local arts groups and organizations to discuss ideas for sharing resources and sustaining our programs. We will also discuss the ways in which our building could be most valuable to the arts community as Intermedia Arts re-structures our operations and rebuilds our capacity.
•Intermedia Arts has organized a meeting of small and mid-sized arts groups—SOTA: State of the Arts. None of us can do this alone.
I know. It’s huge. It’s fast. It’s dramatic. But we—our staff, our board, our artists, partners, and funders—all of us, are absolutely committed to ensuring the future of Intermedia Arts. I know you are too.
Calling On Our Community (This Part is About You)
We can’t do this without you. Really and truly, whether Intermedia Arts closes its doors or not depends on you. Over the past three years, Intermedia Arts has taken on SASE's literary programs, and together we have developed something truly amazing. This is what I'm asking you to do:
1. RSVP now. I need you here at Intermedia Arts’ Community Townhall: Rally the People! at 5:30PM on Friday, December 19th. I am asking you to make it a priority to be here, in person. You are our community; we need you to rally with us as we design our future together.
2. Make a donation. Supporting Intermedia Arts is critical right now, and every dollar counts. We need your support to help us with our general operating expenses as we implement our plan for long-term sustainability. This isn’t about keeping Intermedia Arts open for another month; this is about keeping Intermedia Arts in our community for the long-term. Right now, that future depends on you. Don't wait: make your donation today.
3: Email us. We need to hear your thoughts, your ideas, your commitment of support, your encouragement, your suggestions and feelings. Send us your questions, tell us what you think, and look to our website for updates, responses, community FAQs, and news each and every step of the way. Email: Community@intermediaarts.org.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Winter Ink Book Release Party: Dec. 13th, 2008
Here are some initial photos from the Winter Ink release party on Dec. 13th at Open Book! A big thanks to everyone who came out to support all of us during the evening. It was a magical night. :)
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Mythic creatures of Laos and SE Asia!
It's not every day that we get a big break and come across a rare text like this. While visiting my colleague Phouninh today, she showed me a tattered but largely intact volume of art studying the traditional creatures of myth and legend from Laos and Southeast Asia.
I was unfortunately unable to get better shots at the moment, and want to make sure we get proper credit to the monk who gathered these together, and a larger history of the book, but I also couldn't resist showing you a sample of where we're going to be going in the coming years ahead now...
Clearly, many of the creatures and scenes are from the Ramayana and similar texts, however, others may not be. More research is clearly needed. :) But I'm very excited about coming across this text.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
2009 NEA Poetry Fellows
Lol. And how do I feel?
In the News and Blogosphere
- On The Other Side Of The Eye by Bryan Thao Worra (Sam’s Dot Publishing); an enlightening and whimsical poetry collection that tells the devastating effect of the civil war in Laos, the Kingdom of a Million Elephants, on the human spirit: past, present and future. ‘What Kills A Man’ is a gentle list: Always small things / A round. / Holes…A motion. An emotion. Worra fills these pages with poetic fables using the wonders of Laos myth and world history in the song of aliens, immortality, moon and stars; from “The Deep Ones”: We grow with uncertain immortality/At the edge not made for man.
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
Officially Announcing: I'm an NEA Fellow in Literature
The NEA was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government, and the Endowment is the nation's largest annual funder of the arts.
This year, out of over 1,000 applications received from across the country, only 42 were awarded after being judged by 10 of the country's leading poets. The award for poetry comes only once every 2 years.
The award also comes with $25,000 for me to continue my work to study and advance awareness of Laotian American poetry. This is both a great personal victory and a community victory.
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
Influences: A Quick List
- Franz Kafka. The Basic Kafka.
- Jorge Luis Borges. Labyrinths.
- Samuel Beckett. Endgame. Worstward Ho. Company.
- H.P. Lovecraft. Bloodcurdling Tales of Horror and the Macabre
- Yusef Komunyakaa. Dien Cai Dau. Talking Dirty to The Gods
- Heather McHugh. Hinge and Sign
- Tadeusz Borowski. This Way for The Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen.
- Adrienne Su. Middle Kingdom.
- Leonard Cohen. I'm Your Man.
- Tom Waits. Bone Machine.
- Khalil Gibran. The Madman.
- Joseph Campbell. The Power of Myth.
- Hermann Hesse. Siddhartha. Steppenwolfe.
- Shuntaro Tanikawa. Selected Poems.
- Yevgeny Yevtushenko. The Face Behind The Face.
- Graham Greene. The Captain And The Enemy.
- Anne Morrow Lindbergh. Gift From The Sea.