MINNEAPOLIS (Dec. 12, 2020) — Sahtu Press announced the release of “Every Passing Minute,” the second book of poetry by award-winning Lao American poet Krysada Panusith Phounsiri.
Krysada Phounsiri immigrated to the U.S. from Laos with his family at the age of 2. A San Diego based artist, he began writing poetry at age 11, but fell in love with poetry when he attended UC Berkeley, graduating with a Physics and Astrophysics double major.
A champion b-boy and photographer, his first book of poetry debuted in April 2015, entitled “Dance Among Elephants,”which featured the Rhysling Award-winning poem “It Begins With A Haunting.” He served as the third chair of the national Lao American Writers Summit, bringing Lao artists, writers, their families and community together at the Centro Cultural de la Raza in Balboa Park in 2016. He continues to be actively engaged with national philanthropic projects and often serves as an inspirational speaker to students on the importance of education. Over 8,000 Lao have been rebuilding their lives in San Diego since the Lao diaspora began.
“Every Passing Minute” continues to explore and expand upon the themes first found in “Dance Among Elephants,” exploring both the author’s heritage and the dreams he has for himself and his community with a profound appreciation of time, tradition, and the search for wisdom. This collection is significantly larger than his first book, featuring a wide range of his photographs of the Lao community in transition as well as original art by the acclaimed Lao illustrator Nor Sanavongsay, whose work has appeared widely in projects by the Lao Artists Festival, Laos in the House, the documentary Origin Story, the Center for Lao Studies, and more. The collection features a cover by Ryan Baber.
The collection arrives just as the Lao community observes 45 years since the end of the war that led to the global diaspora for thousands of them. It charts new literary territory as the author explores his Lue ethnicity and his family’s roots in Houayxay in the remote Lao province of Bokeo. Many poems confront the lingering challenge of UXO and other leftover munitions and bombs found throughout 30% of the Lao countryside over 4 decades since the end of the Secret War, while others explore the journey of Asian American poets and artists, and the challenges of refugees and immigrants in navigating an American culture in a state of dynamic transition.
Established in 2013, Sathu Press is a leading publisher of the Southeast Asian Pacific Diaspora. They have a passion for discovering new Lao talent hidden throughout the nation. It is their mission to acquire, publish, and promote high quality literature that comes from both emerging and well known Lao-American authors, and others also working to promote the interest of Lao American communities.
Recent collections include “Battlefield Blooming” by Do Nguyen Mai and Before We Remember We Dream” by Bryan Thao Worra, and Vilayvanh Bender’s debut children’s book Mommy Eats Fried Grasshoppers. You can visit them online at http://sahtu.press.