Hmong Arts Connection will be kicking off the Hmong Writers Fireside Chat Series with poet and writer, Burlee Vang on July 15, from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the Center for Hmong Studies building on 1245 Carroll Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55106. The Hmong Writers Fireside Chat Series offers the public an opportunity to learn more about the featured artist, California-based writer, Burlee Vang, who will share his work.
“Hmong Arts Connection has a long history of nurturing and supporting Hmong writers,” says May Lee-Yang, Interim Executive Director. “We are, after all, home to Paj Ntaub Voice, the longest-running Hmong literary arts journal around. However, we want to develop more programming to support new generations of writers.”
Vang is the author of the chapbook, The Dead I Know: Incantation for Rebirth (Swan Scythe Press) and is co-editor of the newly-released , How Do I Begin? A Hmong Literary Anthology (Heyday Press). He is also a co-founding member of the Hmong American Writers Circle, which was initially created to nurture and support Hmong writers in the San Joaquin Valley of California.
In How Do I Begin?, Vang writes, “For any serious artist, it is a terrible feeling of surrender when you realize there is no place in the world for your voice, when all that you express seems marginalized or in vain. I have felt this way for years. But this isn’t a story about defeat. This is about survival.”
Vang will talk about his craft, his process as an artist, and share excerpts from his writing. Copies of his books will also be available for purchase.
“We’ve intentionally made this event more intimate so people can actually have a conversation with the writers themselves,” said Lee-Yang.
On Saturday, July 16, Hmong Arts Connection will host a writing workshop led by Burlee Vang at the Center for Hmong Studies. This is an opportunity for individuals who want to explore more creative writing. The workshop runs from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. RSVPs are required and lunch is provided.
In the fall of 2011, the Hmong Writers Fireside Chat Series will continue with talks and workshops by Ka Vang, Mai Neng Moua, and many others.
Hmong Arts Connection is a nonprofit whose mission is to promote and inspire artistic expressions of the Hmong culture. This event was made possible through the generous support of the MN State Arts Board Arts Access Grant. For more information, please contact Hmong Arts Connection at [email protected] or call 651-641-8356. Visit online at www.hmongartsconnection.org.