All posts filed under: Refugee

Writer Souvankham Thammavongsa featured in award-winning literary journal

Writer and poet Souvankham Thammavongsa’s work will be featured in an upcoming award-winning literary journal. Thammavonga’s short story, “Worms,” is included in Ploughshares’ winter 2018-19 issue, a collection of stories, poems and essays from writers all around the world. In “Worms,” Thammavongsa unravels the layered relationship between a single mother and teenage daughter, both of whom are Lao refugees residing in a western world. They, and other Lao refugees, pick worms from the ground on a farm for meager wages. Although only eight pages long, “Worms” explores privilege and the ache and injustice of uprooting one’s life for the promise of a better future—only to be met with hardship along the way. Thammavongsa herself was born in a refugee camp in Nong Khai, Thailand. Her work has appeared in Harper’s, Granta, NOON and Best American Non-Required Reading. She is working on her first collection of stories, called “How to Pronounce Knife,” which is set for a 2020 release date. Thammavongsa currently resides in Toronto, Canada. Other stories in Ploughshares’ winter issue will cover topics ranging …

SEAD to release book of Southeast Asian-authored narratives

The Southeast Asian Diaspora (SEAD) Project is celebrating Minnesota’s first-ever Southeast Asian-authored anthology Saturday, Nov. 10 at the Indigenous Roots Cultural Arts Center in St. Paul.  “Planting SEADs: Southeast Asian Diaspora Stories” will feature stories, poetry and artwork from Hmong, Khmer, Lao and Vietnamese Minnesotans, whose narratives reflect the entirety of the refugee experience. Trauma is often intertwined with our shared backgrounds as Southeast Asians, and the experiences that come along with that can be scattered, disjointed or simply not talked about. Through this collection of 20 stories, art and poetry, we can begin to connect the histories that link our diaspora cultures together. “More than 100,000 Hmong, Khmer, Lao, and Viet diaspora call Minnesota home,” Chanida Phaendara Potter, executive director of SEAD, said. “Storytelling is necessary to make sense of who we are as a people and the living and breathing memories we share as Southeast Asians. We hope fellow Minnesotans find hope, understanding and see their neighbors in these beautiful stories.” The book launch and signing will take place from 1-4 p.m. Saturday …