All posts filed under: Writing

Saymoukda Vongsay unpacks family, migration and identity in debut children’s book

When writer Saymoukda Vongsay first wrote “When Everything Was Everything,” a poem depicting the Lao refugee experience, she didn’t expect it to transform into what it is today. In her first children’s book of the same name, Vongsay reveals glimpses into her childhood as a young Lao girl navigating America with her displaced family. Touching on universal and present topics like refugee experiences, class, and family,  the story connects with children and adults of all ages. Although the book was just released this past month, its inception spans even farther. Vongsay said she wrote “When Everything Was Everything” around seven years ago at a writers workshop for women of color as a last-ditch “hurrah” before quitting her writing career. One prompt asked the group to think of a time in their lives that involved a lot of movement or migration and Vongsay said she thought back to her early years. “I just created this list of all the times I felt my family moved or migrated,” she said. “I was also looking up movement in other …

Conversations With Sarky: Going Solo

This is Part Two in an interview series on Lao American music artist, Sarky Mekmorakoth. You can read the first interview, “Conversations with Sarky: The Early Years (Part One) here. I feel like I need to lighten the mood, so, I’m gonna ask, what are you most proud of during your career? Teaching. It’s an amazing feeling to be a guitar instructor because it’s something I love to do so much. So, to get to share my passion, knowledge, and love for music to a new generation? It’s like seeing yourself back then, when you first started and the progression. It’s cool what these kids are able to do. I get to share everything I went through, learned, and some of these kids really have it. That doesn’t happen everyday but when you see it and hear it–it’s an impact. I’ve been very blessed to get to do what I love and pass it on to more people. And to be able to do it for this long. It’s a dream. Considering how many of …