All posts tagged: representation

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 …