Sahtu Press launches Mommy Eats Fried Grasshoppers


Sahtu Press has proudly announced that it is publishing an exciting new book titled “Mommy Eats Fried Grasshoppers”. This stimulating new book is written for everyone, especially children and it will be released in September, 2018. The book is now available for pre-sale and everyone can get a copy reserved by pre-ordering online. The story is by Vilayvanh Bender and the art is by Nor Sanavongsay.

“We like to promote multiculturalism, eating healthy and being accepting of other cultures,” said Vilayvanh Bender, the author, while introducing the upcoming book. “Mahlee, who is a little girl central to the story, learns how differently Mommy did things as a child in Laos than Mahlee does here in America,” she added. According to the author, the book is all about promoting cultural preservation and encouraging intergenerational dialogues.

“Sahtu Press is committed to publishing exciting, vital, and enduring Lao American authors of our time to delight and inspire readers,” said Nor Sanavongsay, the Founder of Sahtu Press. “We also aim to contribute to the cultural life of our community and also to enrich our literary heritage,” he added. In addition to books, the press also publishes articles for its valued readers. This exciting new book is not only for the children of Laos or American origin, but also for the children from around the world and the press is welcoming parents and other readers worldwide to make generous donations to its cause.

There are over 232,000 Lao in the United States and many of them arrived as refugees in the 1980s with over 60,000 resettling in California, often to considerable culture shock compared to their lives back in Southeast Asia. In addition, more than 7,000 Lao lives near Los Angeles and the Inland Empire.

Vilayvanh Bender is a privately practicing Registered Dietitian based in Corona, California, and she is working with children and families. She migrated to America as a seven-year-old refugee girl after the Vietnam War. In addition, she is married and is the mother of two children. Vilayvanh teaches both daughters her cultural heritage through stories and activities. She enjoys outdoor activities and trying new food. Spending time with family makes her most happy. “Mommy Eats Fried Grasshoppers” is based on her eldest daughter, Mahlee, and her.

Nor Sanavongsay is an award-winning Lao American writer based in the San Francisco Bay area and he is the founder of Sahtu Press. He has been a member of several platforms, including the SatJaDham Lao Literary Project, the National Lao American Writers Summit and the Lao Artists Festival of Elgin. He is 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 Encyclopedia Britannica, Sears, Zoosk, and Barnes & Noble among others. “Mommy Eats Fried Grasshoppers” is his second illustrated children’s book.

Both author and illustrator will be available to talk at schools and book clubs throughout 2019. Also, there will be discount rates for the book available for non-profits, libraries and schools. They will also be available to sign books at these events.

For more information on the book, please visit:

Or find out more about the Sahtu Press by visiting:

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Call for Submissions: The Power of Place. Special dISorient edition for Onyx Journal. Due June 31

This is a special edition of Onyx Journal by Jasmaya Press run by Kambon Obayani. D Hideo Maruyama is the former editor of dISorient Journalzine and guest editing this volume of Onyx.

Remember dISorient Journalzine? If not, it was an Asian Pacific American Arts Journal based in Little Tokyo. This is not a full resurrection of the journal, but it will be run in a similar manner, but with a thematic component.
1. The topic should focus on the power of place. Preferences will be for work focusing on enclaves like Chinatown, Koreatown, Little Tokyo etc. However, work focusing on reflecting going back to the country of origin will also be considered. For example, if you are a 2nd Generation Pinoy, what does the Philippines mean to you. I am in particular looking for new work by Cambodians, Vietnamese, Korean and other recent APA immigrants.
2. Asian Pacific American Writers have no restrictions in terms of the power of place. The text could focus on Asia for example if you are a Korean adoptee.
3. If you are not Asian Pacific American, you are free to submit, but again it must focus on Little Tokyo or another Asian Pacific American enclave as the center of the setting for the submission.
Font preference is Times New Roman 12 point font or Calibri.
Double Space
MS Word File
Essay–2500 words max
Please use the MLA format if this is a research based paper.
Short Story–2500 words max
Only one short story will be accepted.
Poetry–Up to 10 pages, which might be 10 poems or one long poem.
Lead Editor: D Hideo Maruyama. Contact: or
Deadline: Extended to June 31, 2018
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2018 Jerome Travel Grant Recipients Announced

Congratulations to Saymoukda Duangphouxay Vongsay who was named as one of the 2018 Jerome Travel Grant Recipients recently. This marks the final year of the Travel and Study program, which began in 1986 and awarded 1,109 grants to emerging artists and Minnesota-based arts administrators. Future support for travel and study opportunities have been included within the new Artist Fellowship program, which will award grants in 2019.

Saymoukda Vongsay was awarded $5,000 “to travel to Nong Khai, Thailand and Luang Prabang, Laos for 15 days. As an essential part of the refugee healing process, Vongsay will travel to Nongkhai, Thailand and Vientiane, Laos to retrace, reimagine, and record her family’s journey after the Secret War.”



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MAP Fund 2018 Grantees announced

The MAP Fund recently announced the 2018 grantees: 40 original, live performance projects that will receive a total of $1.4 million in direct support for project creation, development, and distribution. For Lao Americans the notable production funded was Masters of the Currents by Leilani Chan, Ova Saopeng, and TeAda Productions.

Learn more about the full pool of MAP applications and grantees in the 2018 Grant Cycle Data Report. Each year, MAP hires external reviewers and panelists through an open nomination process.


The MAP Fund is primarily supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, with additional funds from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. MAP invests in artistic production as the critical foundation of imagining — and ultimately creating — a more equitable and vibrant society.

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June 16: aesthetic: LAO’d AF

Coming to Minnesota on June 16:


Many Lao American writers from the diaspora are children of refugees or are refugees ourselves, allowing us to live and write between two worlds: the Lao and the American. Because of this, much of our work is around memory, imagined pasts, and imagined futures. We write about pre-colonial Laos and Laos in the aftermath of the Secret War, about refugee identity formations, pop culture, social justice, food, mental health – the subject matters we cover are wider than the Mekong. We are the creative documentarians for our community, whose narratives are often pushed to the margins. We are here to make space for ourselves and for each other and to do it unapologetically.

This month’s EQ features readings from Spoken Word Immersion Fellow Saymoukda Vongsay, Catzie Vilayphonh, and Bryan Thao Worra, with beats by DJ Nak.


Advance tickets:
$5 Loft members
$10 general admission

At the door:
Pay-what-you-wish, as available

Purchasing advanced tickets guarantees a general admission seat and helps to cover the Loft’s costs to host the event. As always, pay-what-you-wish tickets are available at the door 30 minutes prior to the event on a first-come, first-served basis. No one turned away for lack of funds. Doors open 30 minutes before the event. Seating is general admission (not assigned).

Open Captioning by Paradigm Reporting & Captioning will be provided. Assisted listening devices are available upon request.


Founded in 2002, Equilibrium (EQ for short) is the Loft’s signature series devoted to spoken word artists and audiences of color. Acclaimed as one of the nation’s top spoken word venues, EQ combines an intimate, engaging atmosphere with energetic, packed houses. EQ has created a space where national talent shares the stage with local emerging artists. In addition to blockbuster spoken word shows, EQ has honored pioneers in the genre and artists of color in the Twin Cities, hosted book and CD release parties, offered workshops with Def Poetry Jam artists for at-risk youth and underrepresented communities, and collaborated with community artists on an innovative cross-generational spoken word mentorship program.

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SEADS Presents: Reimagining Lao Pasts, Lao Futures, June 9th

Coming June 9th:


What are the stories you carry? Join us for a healing community conversation through creative inquiry as we hold space that acknowledges and honors the diverse and complex journeys of our Lao Minnesotan diaspora stories. Lao veterans, elders, activists and youth are encouraged to attend. This event is free and open to those who identify as Lao Minnesotan or have Lao heritage. Food and drinks will be provided. Childcare available by request.
Saturday, June 9th, 2018
Minneapolis, Minnesota
*Exact location will be sent to registrants*
Please RSVP via Eventbrite at, and direct any questions to, 612-460-5559. For more info about this project, go to
SEADS (Southeast Asian Diaspora Storytelling) is a project of The SEAD Project, a Southeast Asian-based community organization.
SEADS is in collaboration with The SEAD Project, ManForward & Partners.
***Please note that this event is specifically for the Lao community only. Keep posted for future conversations that are open to the general public.***
Minnesota Remembers Vietnam is an initiative led by Twin Cities PBS aimed at inspiring Minnesotans to remember, share stories, recognize bravery, express their reasons for dissent, and foster understanding around the lasting impact of war. TPT is partnering with the Minnesota Humanities Center to bring public conversations around these topics to communities across the state, thanks to support from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund that was created with a vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008.
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Maintenance Crew Youtube Channel Up

Chantala Khommanivanh and his fellow artists at Maintenance Crew are getting their youtube channel back in action. Be sure to check it out and subscribe.

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