Sunday, March 31, 2013
The playwrights included Pim Siripanyo, Viliya Ketavong, Carol Manisouk, Kinnalone Bee Savatdy, Khamp “Nong” Thongrivone, Rainier Ronquillo, Phatthason Manisouk, Bidone Salima, Sunny Chantharathip and Bandith Xaysana.
They had an interesting range looking at various slices of Asian American and particularly Lao American life. There were historic pieces, comedies, and experimental works presented. It will be interesting to see where they all are ten years from now. Here's hoping they receive the support they deserve in the coming years ahead to really bring their works to life the way they're meant to be seen.
After an opening reception on April 3rd, the tour will officially launch at the United Nations Headquarters building, where our speakers will be joined by Saleumxay Kommasith, Ambassador of the Permanent Mission of the Lao PDR to the United Nations, and Jordan Ryan, head of the Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery at the United Nations Development Program. From there, the tour will cross the United States to the West Coast, heading back through the Midwest, and making a final stop in Washington, DC.
For more details about the tour you can visit: http://legaciesofwar.org/voices.
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Little Laos on the Prairie recently announced the first winner of their first writing contest, presented in February, when they asked for submissions on "New Ideas of Lao American Beauty." Bidone Salima of San Diego was selected for her creative flash essay, "Beauty." She receives a nice certificate from Little Laos on the Prairie and a bag of SnakeBomb Coffee from Laos.
Bidone Salima is a Lao American artist based in San Diego. Her work as a freelance photographer spans four continents and she speaks several languages. She has an AA degree in Administration of Justice, and recently completed taking a playwriting class, and volunteers for several Laotian organizations in SD. Her future goals include pursuing her B.A degree in human services.
Saturday, March 23, 2013
"The CastIron Carousel seeks funding to stage an H.P. Lovecraft-themed marionette play entitled The Doom That Came to Fiddle Creak in Portland, Oregon in the fall of 2013. The audience will enjoy a fully realized marionette theater experience: a curtain will open revealing a magic window into a stage populated by intricately articulated marionettes animated by near-invisible strings."
So, they're running a kickstarter and need at least $3,000 more to make a really good run at it.
I'd really like to see more work like this done in puppetry! So, if you can spare a few coins, please consider it.
Friday, March 22, 2013
2013 will be the 40th anniversary since the end of the bombing campaign in Laos, yet children and families continue to be maimed and killed from them. Help Legacies of War, an advocacy nonprofit organization, work towards a legacy of peace and hope through the Voices from Laos educational speakers tour across the U.S., which kicks off in April.
Women for Peace & Hope in Laos, a group of philanthropists, invite you to commemorate the significance of this anniversary by donating to Legacies of War with just a click on the link below. Any amount will help. Please share with your friends and family. Let's make this happen by April 15, 2013; right in time for Lao New Year!
Contribute towards a bomb-free Laos. Donate now:
Thursday, March 21, 2013
Every year on March 21st, UNESCO celebrates the World Poetry Day. A decision to proclaim 21 March as World Poetry Day was adopted during the UNESCO’s 30th session held in Paris in 1999. According to the UNESCO’s decision, "the main objective of this action is to support linguistic diversity through poetic expression and to offer endangered languages the opportunity to be heard within their communities. Moreover, this Day is meant to support poetry, return to the oral tradition of poetry recitals, promote teaching poetry, restore a dialogue between poetry and the other arts such as theatre, dance, music, painting and so on, support small publishers and create an attractive image of poetry in the media so that the art of poetry will no longer be considered an outdated form of art..."
On my reading list today are selections from: Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia, and Beyond edited by Tina Chang, Nathalie Handal and Ravi Shankar. Who's on yours?
You can always download a free copy of my e-book Between Souls at http://bit.ly/betweensouls11 or a number of other collections at Slideshare.net.
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Celebrate the 2013 Lao New Year with an essay contest.
The Minnesota Twin Cities Lao New Year and Naiku invite Minnesotan students of Lao descent to submit an original written essay capturing the essence of “What the Lao New Year means to you.”
The contest has two divisions:
1. Kindergarten to 7th grade and
2. 8th to 12 grade.
A $100 prize will be awarded to each division winner. The overall winner will read their essay at the April 13, Lao New Year cultural show.
· All entries require an essay sent via email (students may use their parent’s or an adult’s email).
· Emails must include name, address, phone number, e-mail addresses, grade and school.
· Written essays are to be forwarded to firstname.lastname@example.org.
· Contest open to Minnesotan students of Lao descent.
· Essay entries should be double spaced with 12 point font and up to 1000 words.
· Submission deadline is Friday April 5, 2013.
Sponsored by the Minnesota Lao New Year Committee and Naiku
Monday, March 18, 2013
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Starting at 9:30 am, the Keynote is by Tom Hegg, author of A Cup of Christmas Tea and the children’s book classic series, Peef the Bear. $15 to attend and help cover costs.
From 10:30 am – 3:30 am Book Fair and Author Readings, Free and Open to the Public
11:00 am – 5:00 pm Workshops $13:
Getting Started Series includes workshops to stimulate your creativity, personal writing, writing other activities to help you find focus, overcoming writing resistance and writers block and more.
Telling Your Story Series includes workshops on writing memoirs, turning your journals into stories, writing for children and more.
Publishing Series includes panels and workshops on preparing your manuscripts, editing options, legal issues and publishing options.
Marketing and Publicity Series includes workshops that help you get the word out about your book, including preparation of press kits, news releases, use of social media, platform development.
Arts and Writing Series include workshops on cover design and writing lyrics.
Register early to ensure a spot in the workshop of your choice at www.BTACMN.org or 952-563-8575.
Monday, March 11, 2013
Cha, founded in 2007, a decade after the handover, is the first Hong Kong-based English online literary journal; it is dedicated to publishing quality poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, reviews and photography & art.
Cha has a strong focus on Asian-themed creative work and work done by Asian writers and artists. It also publishes established and emerging writers/artists from around the world. The journal had a launch in Beijing on 31 August 2009 by Royston Tester. Cha is catalogued in the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) Library, among other universities.
Thursday, March 07, 2013
" What will survival entail in near and far futures? In light of racialized violence and social control, massive technological innovation, and rapid transformations in science and biomedicine, this conference will engage the imperative to imagine, study, prepare for, and articulate future human life. We are interested in how science and technology shape the material and epistemological boundaries of existence, specifically how and whose existence is valued, policed, corporealized, and corporatized. We will also explore the capacity of embodied subjects to navigate these boundaries in the context of dis/abled, gendered, sex/uality, and queer formations. Recognizing that technology creates kinds of futures (both anticipated and unforeseen), this conference will create a space to analyze how technologies of the past and present contextualize and disclose future realities, and identify opportunities for creating new possibilities."
Wednesday, March 06, 2013
photo courtesy of Christopher Khounbanam
I wish we had confirmed our programming earlier in the year so we could have arranged for more Lao to pre-register at the affordable price so they would show up and get a better sense of the experience of participating in such conventions.
Saymoukda Vongsay and I had good discussions all throughout the evening. She even got to take a picture with the Guest of Honor, Claudia Christian:
Yes. They're both very tall.
Heretically, though, Saymoukda has never seen an episode of Babylon 5.
One of the big hits was explaining the significance of the Gop Kin Deuane, the Frog Who Eats the Moon, framing the possibilities of viewing him or her as a giant kaiju on par with Cthulhu, Godzilla, or similar entities.
We explored how Lao would almost never accept the idea of the Nak being a malevolent entity in a historic context. There were also some fun discussions on the various types of Phi and the Lao perspective on zombies as seen through the Buddhist 5 precepts.
Because Harry Turtledove was one of the guests of honor, although I didn't get a chance to meet him, we did discuss what alternate history meant for people who lived during secret wars. We broke down some interesting points in Southeast Asian, particularly Lao history, where mainstream and Lao American writers could create some fascinating thought exercises, with and without the fantastic involved.
We did not get much time to discuss the Nakanya, however. Perhaps another convention.
Here's one of Saymoukda's favorite cosplayers of the con:
Will she adapt if for her work in the future? Who can say.
Also, this weekend, thanks to Steve Fox and friends, I learned about the near-Lovecraftian Hodag. And I'm almost certain I'm going to have to find a way to include him in DEMONSTRA before it goes to print.
I missed Moira Manion, but ran into her at The Source earlier that week, and Terry A. Garey, who was there but our paths somehow didn't intersect that time around. I also met Rhea Ewing and Rachel Gold for the first time, and they were a riot. Hopefully we'll hear more from them in the fututre.
This is the last year MarsCon will be at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, and just as well. While we lucked out on good service in the hotel restaurant the first night, by Saturday, they became a demonstration in Kafkaesque cuisine. Seriously, I'm not going to miss their "restaurant." Here you can see the horror about to unfold...
Lyda Morehouse picked up a most unusual Tanuki during MarsCon:
So, overall it was a great time, and now the hamster wheel is spinning what we'll present on during the next MarsCon! Thanks, everybody, for all of your support during the panels and here's to next year!
Tuesday, March 05, 2013
The speakers tour aims to educate audiences about the dangers of UXO in Laos, mobilize positive action, and show how war and conflict can haunt innocent civilians decades later. The tour will also present an opportunity for healing and hope. By mobilizing communities, Legacies of War will build a movement to stop the senseless deaths and injuries caused by UXO and build a bright future for the children of Laos.
“On behalf of the board, I want to express how pleased we are to have Sia Her leading the Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans (CAPM) into the next phase of our work,” said Hue Danny Lee, chair of the Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans board of directors. “She has a strong track record of public service, policy knowledge, and connection to the Asian Pacific Islander Community. Sia has demonstrated great leadership in her previous roles and given her strong passion for education and the experience she is ideally suited to take the helm of the Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans in today’s fast-paced, dynamic environment."
According to Adeel Lari, member of the search committee, Ms. Her was selected after CAPM conducted an extensive and public search for the new Executive Director. The search resulted in over 80 candidates with some very competent and diverse applicants. The search committee took input from the community and the staff before making its final decision.
Ms. Her comes to the Council with more than a decade of experience in non-profit management, policy advocacy, and engaging new Americans in both the political and policy processes. She served as Education and Training Department Manager at Hmong American Partnership for more than four years. Most recently, she served as Campaign Manager for the successful Saint Paul Public Schools’ “Strong Schools, Strong Communities” levy referendum campaign which secured over $300 million dollars for the Saint Paul Public Schools. Ms. Her holds a master’s degree in public policy from the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Macalester College.
Ms. Her will begin her duties on March 6th.
Monday, March 04, 2013
Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé
Sally Wen Mao
Karen An-Hwei Lee
We hope you'll take a moment to check out this fabulous new issue. Check it out at:
So, check it out and let the artists and editors know if you liked it or not. I'll even go so far as to say, if you really appreciate it, send in something more than a 'thumbs up' but provide them some real feedback about what you liked and what would keep you interested in the journal's future issues.