AAP staff report
With the support of Lao American Community of Fresno, three Sahtu Press authors will be reading at a free event with a book-signing to follow on Saturday, May 30, 2015, from 3 to 4 p.m., at the Fresno County Woodward Park Regional Library, 944 E Perrin Avenue, Fresno, Calif.
This is the very first time the three authors have performed together in California. Audience members will hear authors Nor Sanavongsay, Krysada Binly Panusith Phounsiri and Bryan Thao Worra as they read from their latest books and discuss other exciting issues in Lao American literature coming up, particularly after the National Lao American Symposium and Writers Summit in Minneapolis this April.
Krysada Panusith Phounsiri, better known as “Binly” is a Lao-American artist and engineer. He was born in Laos in 1988 and came to America with his family in 1989. He graduated from UC Berkeley in 2010 with a Physics and Astrophysics Double Major and a Minor in Poetry. His debut collection is “Dance Among Elephants,” published by Sahtu Press. His work has been featured in the Journal of Southeast Asian American Education and Advancement and the Smithsonian’s “A Day In The Life Of Asian America” digital exhibit. He’s also an accomplished dancer and photographer, traveling to various regions of the world to compete in competitions and teach workshops.
Nor Sanavongsay is an award-winning Lao American writer in the San Francisco Bay area and the founder of Sahtu Press. He has been a member of the SatJaDham Lao Literary Project, the National Lao American Writers Summit, the Lao Artists Festival of Elgin, among many others. He is 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 others.
Bryan Thao Worra is an award-winning Lao-American writer. He holds over 20 awards including a Fellowship in Literature from the National Endowment for the Arts, and is the author of 6 books with writing appearing in over 100 international publications. He is the first Lao American professional member of the international Horror Writer Association and is an officer of the Science Fiction Poetry Association. Bryan Thao Worra’s work is on display at the Smithsonian’s national traveling exhibit, “I Want the Wide American Earth: An Asian Pacific American Story.” He represented the nation of
Laos in 2012 as a Cultural Olympian during the London Summer Games. His 2013 book, DEMONSTRA, was selected as Book of the Year by the Science Fiction Poetry Association.
The reading is also a historic occasion because this month is Asian Pacific Islander American Heritage Month and the 40th anniversary since the end of the war in 1975 and the beginning of the Lao Diaspora.
The Laotian-American Community of Fresno was founded in 2000 by concerned Laotian community members as a source of mentorship, guidance, and support for community members and their families as new lives were being established in the United States. They are the only Lao-run nonprofit in the Fresno area, and their mission is to promote and preserve Lao cultural heritage and traditions through traditional Lao dance classes and Lao literacy classes, and also to empower and encourage Lao youth to pursue college.