Bryan Thao Worra named Visiting Artist at UC Merced

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This April, Bryan Thao Worra will be the Visiting Artist for the University of California-Merced from April 2nd to 30th thanks to their Center for Humanities.

This will include a variety of readings, workshops, and brownbag talks with the community both on campus and in the city examining the intersections of the humanities and the arts with our world, particularly through the lens of refugees, immigrants and science fiction poetry.

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Saymoukda Duangphouxay Vongsay reads March 12th


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Rambutan Call for Submissions

C4meBPLUcAAYHx8Submissions are open for their fourth issue! Southeast Asian writers, send them your nonfiction, fiction, and poetry!

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Poem: “Forgive Me” by Haylee Thikeo

Forgive Me

My sweet tender heart,
The truth is simple.
I am the one
Who broke you.
Not him, her or them.
It was me,
Shattering you into pieces

Because I didn’t know how to love you .

And now you can’t sing
Without tears filling your chest,
No rhythms you feel
But for the pain that beats
Out of the hole that I’ve left.

How do I even dare,
Dare ask for you to forgive me…

Haylee Thikeo 2
Content marketer by day, artivist and accidental poet by night, Haylee Thikeo is a Lao American digital storyteller from Boston, Massachusetts. A Media Studies graduate from Northeastern University, Haylee has hosted a number of workshops on campus and conferences including ECAASU and BAASIC. Some of her workshop topics include: Asian American Identity in the MediaReclaiming Our Asian American Identity with Digital Media and Personal Branding Tools, and How to Use Social Media for Social Justice: Hashtag Activism 101. She was also a panelist at the Regent Park Film Festival and the Boston Asian American Film Festival.

Before moving to Oakland, California, Haylee was working on Stories of Asian America, a digital collection of narratives capturing Asian American and Asian Immigrant experiences in Boston. Today, she is exploring her family’s refugee history and working on a project about love, intimacy,and transgenerational trauma. 

You can connect with her on instagram,  twitter, or shoot her an email at

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2017 ALEC conference on March 10th in Sacramento


Hosted by Lao American Advancement Organization (LAAO), the 2017 Annual Lao Education Conference will connect Lao American youth who are prospective college students with leading scholars, artists and community builders to discover the opportunities ahead of them and how to succeed. Among those presenting will be Sahtu Press author and founder Nor Sanavongsay.

Sanavongsay is a Lao American artist based the San Francisco Bay area and the founder of Sahtu Press. He has been a leading figure with the SatJaDham Lao Literary Project, the National Lao American Writers Summit, the Lao Artists Festival of Elgin, among many others. He’s also the author of children’s books inspired by Lao folktales, such as Xieng Mieng: A Sticky Mess. Some of his handiwork can be seen from companies like Encyclopaedia Britannica, Sears, Zoosk, and Barnes & Noble among others.

He was born in Mukdahan, Thailand during the last days of the Civil War in Laos, and  came to the US when he was 4 years old. His family initially lived in Kingsport, TN before moving up north to Elgin, IL which was deeply influential on the next directions his life took. A graduate of Elgin High School, he studied Art and Design at Northern Illinois University. He believes great things can be achieved when you set your mind to it. Failure is a part of the journey.  He founded Sahtu Press as a not for profit publishing company based in Dublin, CA. Sahtu Press aims to publish and promote enduring contemporary Lao American literature and to create academic and grassroots learning opportunities.

ALEC is a one-day event, Friday, March 10 at 9 AM – 4 PM and will be held at CSU Sacramento at 6000 J St, Sacramento, California 95819. Registered participants will learn more about where to go once they arrive on campus. ALEC is a free conference for all middle and high school Lao American students! Registration is required to attend ALEC. It’s particularly designed for students in the Sacramento City Unified School District or Twin Rivers Unified School District.

Other confirmed speakers include web-developer and project manager Emmaly Manchanthasouk, Tony Ouk, a Silicon Valley business manager. and tech start-up founder Sysamone Phaphon.


A non-profit, Lao American Advancement Organization coordinates the ALEC (Annual Lao Educational Conference), the Sabaidee Pbeemai LAO FESTIVAL at CalExpo and the LAAO Scholarship & Culture Night Banquet.

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Asian American Literary Review Addresses Mental Health in MN

This week at the Walter Library in Minnesota, Saymoukda Duangphouxay Vongsay and her colleagues are hosting a fishbowl conversation with David Mura, Dr. Rich Lee and Dr. Jigna Desai approaching mental health for the Asian American community from a variety of angles as part of the special issue of the Asian American Literary Review.


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Little Laos on the Prairie interviews Kanya Lai

Little Laos on the Prairie did an interview with Lao American educator and writer Kanya Lai of Tennessee. Check it out.


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