Friday, March 30, 2012

Lao New Year in Minnesota: April 14th


Please join the Minnesota Lao community for the 2012/2555 Lao New Year cultural celebration. This year's theme is "Year of the Dragon, Year of the Lao Community". The event is hosted through Lao Assistance Center of Minnesota in collaboration with over 15 local Lao associations and organizations.

There will be a traditional Buddhist ceremony, cultural performances, Miss Lao New Year Minnesota pageant, food & drinks, and evening entertainment. The event is open to the public.

WHEN: Saturday, April 14, 2012
I. 9:00am-2:00pm
Thak Baht (Buddhist Blessing Ceremony)

II. 4:00pm-7:00pm
Cultural Performances & Nang Sang Kahn (Miss Lao New Year Pageant)

III. 7:00pm-12:00am
Evening Celebration & Live Entertainment by Lucky Star Band

Crystal Community Center
4800 Douglas Drive North
Crystal, MN 55429

Admission: $10 (under 16 are free)

Funds from admission costs will contribute towards next year's Lao New Year celebration. For questions and more information, please contact Lao Assistance Center of Minnesota at 612-374-4967 or email

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Literasians: May 24th, San Francisco

Save the date! I'll be in San Francisco on Thursday, May 24, 2012 at 7:00 pm  for a free panel discussion, LITERASIANS.

The Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center and Kartika Review present a lineup of both established and emerging writers and poets to discuss the state of APIA literature today, its development over the years, and a projection for how it will evolve in the future.

Moderated by Kartika’s editor-at-large Christine Lee Zilka, the panel will feature Yiyun Li, Bharati Mukherjee, Andre Yang, Aimee Phan, and I.

Light food and drink provided afterward.

For more information, please email the managing editor, Sunny Woan, at

Main Gallery
SOMArts Building
934 Brannan Street
San Francisco, CA 94123

2 Weeks to Dr. Faustus at the Hemet Public Library!

As a reminder!

On Saturday, April 14th, 2012 from 10:00 am to 11:30 am, I'll be facilitating the ongoing "Doing Literature" discussion group will meet at the Hemet Public Library at 300 East Latham Avenue.

This month's book is Christopher Marlowe's Doctor Faustus, about an ambitious scholar who sells his soul to the devil and the consequences. The discussion group is free to attend.

Written in Elizabethan English, Doctor Faustus is one of the most enduring of Marlowe's plays, and among the most controversial. It was first published in 1604, eleven years after the author's death and at least twelve years after the first performance of the play.

Before Marlowe, few writers ventured into this subject, especially concerning the demonic. After his play, it opened opportunities for other authors to explore their views on the spiritual world and how a man might rise and fall in their life. The story has since been explored in many genres and forms from comic books to horror films, comedies and even an episode of The Simpsons.

In his lifetime, Christopher Marlowe was an English dramatist, poet and translator of the Elizabethan era. Considered one of the foremost tragedians of his age, he is often studied for his blank verse, his overreaching protagonists, and his mysterious death.

On May 12th, the group will be discussing Hamlet, a play by English playwright William Shakespeare. For more information, visit

Monday, March 26, 2012

Northography: Amor Alien and speculative poetry

This week's stimulus at Northography is Amor Alien by Laura Molina. We already have six responses from the poets of Northography, and hopefully a few others will also join in shortly.

Several of the responses are great examples of Minnesota speculative poetry, as one would expect. You can view it at:

Northography posts a stimulus biweekly. A cadre of writers has two weeks to respond to this stimulus creatively on the website. At the end of the period the page will be archived and a new stimulus posted. It’s as simple as that. With this approach they can offer new, creative writing of the region to a wide audience every week, while providing a vibrant online community for writers who are looking for interaction, motivation and improvement.

[Poem] An Archaeology of Snow Forts

There’s not much left to be said
Some well-washed stone hasn't heard before.

History is composed of broken walls and bad neighbors:
Just ask these chips from Berlin, the Parthenon and Cathay
Or these cool magma hands of Pompeii, dark and grey.

If you listen carefully in the right place
On University Avenue, you will learn
There is a minor wall near the Yalu River
Dancing on the hills of Qin for the moon,

Who knows exactly what I mean
In every tongue worth mention.

She’s moonlighting as a curved garden serpent
Coiling around old Laocoon,
The Suspicious One with his astute eye,
Crooning with a sly wink,

"Come, touch true history."

And how the moon must laugh when she spies
The tiniest hill in Minnetonka,
Where the small hands of the earth have erected

A magnificent white wall,
A snowy miniature Maginot
Raised some scant hours before,
Already melting into a hungry, roiling river
Who is not yet finished eating Louisiana for brunch.

From On The Other Side Of The Eye, 2007

March 26th is the birthday of Mythologist Joseph Campbell

Asian science fiction and the draw of dystopias

The Los Angeles Times recently presented an article on the recent move of science fiction into the Chinese underground. Stories addressing totalitarian governments and brainwashed citizens are particularly popular. A frequent theme is "the unstoppable rise of China and the end of the American empire," according to Clarissa Sebag-Montefiore. Interestingly: "China all but banned popular "time travel" television dramas for promoting "feudalism, superstition, fatalism and reincarnation." These are certainly interesting items for consideration.

Comparisons to 1984 and Brave New World were inevitable, but I also suspect it doesn't even begin to address many of the complexities within this situation and the historical role of literature and its relationship to culture as both a reflection and a shaping factor.

One Chinese author remarks: "I went to America to present my ideas, but they thought that the portrayal of China's superpower status was an exaggeration. Americans think that America cannot be destroyed. They laughed at this idea. They didn't believe in me."

These are, alas, still statements that can cause a lot of dismay and discomfort among some readers. One has to avoid ethnocentrism and be prepared to confront the uncomfortable propositions and positions. But the way such stories and ideas are presented at all can be quite informative in allowing us to understand many cultural responses and attitudes of the times. Particularly with speculative literature this does not mean they are mainstream views, plausible views, explicit wishes, or lamentations of a world that will not be. It's fiction. A work of imagination that at times could be more plausible or less plausible.

One wonders how science fiction will flourish and grow in other countries in the coming years ahead.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Haiku Movie Review: The Hunger Games

"White Battle Royale?"
Not quite, but you can compare.
Solid, could be more.

Southeast Asian American poetry at UC Davis

A great article from the Sacramento Bee about the role of poetry and spoken word among Southeast Asian American and other students at UC Davis, including Fong "Batman" Tran, a 24-year-old UC Berkeley grad:

"Muslim American women in hijabs poured out their truths alongside a Latina mother of two, black and white poets of both genders and bards of Vietnamese, Chinese, Taiwanese, Hmong, Mien and Cambodian extraction."

 I hope Lao writers and poets will also participate over time at this and other readings. I think it's also particularly interesting for the way the speculative arts are intersecting with their self-expression and sense of identification.

[Poem] A Wat Is To Temple As To Escape Is To Survive

Among the many stone Buddhas,
A novice from Luang Prabang,
Barely half my naïve years
Beneath those loose robes:

Caught seconds before
The next orange prayer
Walking towards nirvana,
His smile precocious. 

I wondered if someday
in a distant century
we would see

a statue of him

paving the way
for my children

From Tanon Sai Jai, 2009

March 24, 1874 is the birth of escape artist Harry Houdini.

Friday, March 23, 2012

[Poem] Origami

Mrs. Hutt, I won’t become
The statesman you hoped I’d be.
I’ve turned into a minor poet instead,
Killing mosquitoes in the summer heat.

Please don’t think I wasn’t paying attention,
And didn’t profit from your words
But people like me
Have to find our own way
To use paper and ink

To reshape our world
Of coins and prayers

One square inch at a time.
From Japonisme, Laoisme, 2012

March 23, 1910 was the birthday of director Akira Kurosawa

Monday, March 19, 2012

Call for submissions: Journal of Southeast Asian Education and Advancement

The Journal of Southeast Asian Education and Advancement is taking both non-fiction and creative, literary writing. It is a scholarly, peer-reviewed journal addressing research interests surrounding the education and community development of Southeast Asian Americans.

We're also very interested in seeing materials from less represented perspectives including Khmu, Tai Dam, Mien, Lahu, Lisu, and Akha perspectives, in addition to submissions from Cambodian, Hmong, Lao, Thai and Vietnamese perspectives.  Naturally, this year, we're also looking for creative works examining the Year of the Dragon from a Southeast Asian American perspective. Poems, short stories, play excerpts are all accepted.

Guidelines are available at:  or you can also e-mail them to me at and I'll see that they get to the right editor.

[Poem] Hey, Einstein

"God does not play dice with the universe." 
- Albert Einstein

Playing dice in God’s universe
Doesn’t get you any closer to him.
Understanding craps
Does as much good as knowing old maids.
Random acts of kindness, like one-armed bandits
Have an uncertain payoff.
You can go fish, reach 21 and hit me,
But divine conversations occur
With all of the frequency of a royal straight flush
On a blue moon in the Year of the Dragon
During your final hour on death row, waiting for a pardon.

Unfortunately, beating those odds only happens if you play.

From Barrow, 2009

On March 19th, 1931, gambling was legalized in Nevada.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

[Lao Steampunk] Call for Submissions: Asian Steampunk Manuscripts (For Middle Grade and Young Adult Readers)

TU BOOKS, an imprint of LEE & LOW BOOKS, publishes speculative fiction for children and young adults featuring diverse characters and settings. Their focus is on well-told, exciting, adventurous fantasy, science fiction, and mystery novels featuring people of color set in worlds inspired by non-Western folklore or culture. They are looking specifically for stories for both middle grade (ages 8-12) and young adult (ages 12-18) readers.

Manuscripts should be typed doubled-spaced. Manuscripts should be accompanied by a cover letter that includes a brief biography of the author, including publishing history. The letter should also state if the manuscript is a simultaneous or an exclusive submission. Please include a synopsis and first three chapters of the novel. Do not send the complete manuscript.

Be sure to include full contact information on the cover letter and first page of the manuscript. Page numbers and your last name/title of the book should appear on subsequent pages. Only submissions sent through regular post will be considered. They cannot accept submissions through email or fax. They will respond to a submission only if interested in the manuscript. They are not able to return manuscripts or give a personal response to each submission, so please do not include a self-addressed stamped envelope or a delivery confirmation postcard, or call or email about the status of your submission.

If you do not hear within six months, you may assume that your work does not fit their needs.

Submissions Editor, Tu Books, 95 Madison Avenue, Suite 1205, New York, NY 10016. If you require confirmation of delivery, please send the submission with a U.S. Postal Service Return Receipt.

 For submissions: Submissions Editor, Tu Books, 95 Madison Avenue, Suite 1205, New York, NY 10016


[Lao Steampunk] Dynamite Warrior

In 2006, Khon Fai Bin or Dynamite Warrior was released in the theaters, a Thai Isan production featuring all Isan cast and crew. 

Set in the late 1890s, Dynamite Warrior tells the story of a Siamese noble who wants to sell expensive steam-powered tractors to the farmers, who cannot afford their 1,000 baht price tag. The noble then schemes to force the farmers to buy the steam-powered technology by arranging for a vicious criminal to kill or steal all of the water buffalo in the area.

But then they get thwarted by the Dynamite Warrior who is apparently armed with traditional Southeast Asian rockets and mystic martial arts fighting prowess that is apparently vulnerable to a spell involving a virgin's menstrual blood. A wizard who's a master of black magic gets involved, and subplots of baby kidnapping, long-standing revenge, and similar themes we've come to expect from Asian martial arts films.

Overall, I'd recommend it as a film to start getting a sense of the costumes, the fighting, and some of the tropes that are possible within this era. The acting and plot is a little uneven, but interesting as it runs counter to most steampunk alternate histories that suggest we want people to have more access to technology and that technology is the answer to a better retro-future.

This definitely falls in line with some of our earlier questions over whether or not a Lao steampunk setting would be more likely to embrace less 'modernization' in the European mode, although the Dynamite Warrior definitely makes some interesting use of indigenous technology.

I wasn't particularly enamored with the black magic elements. I felt the story could have been told well without it and it would have been more interesting to see a story play out between a steam-powered noble and an inventive commoner. That's one of many interesting ideas that weren't explored in this film.

The film can drag at different points but it was a film that held more interest for me than Tears of the Black Tiger or Ong Bak 2 when considering how we might tell a historical Lao story.

[Poem] Vocabularies

I look at florid Xue Di
thinking of words I stopped using.

Gone, departed: bleak and stagnant streams,
grown limpid with moss and dying memories
of Nineveh and Nihilism.

Blasted into the oblivion of the unused page:
stoic reflections on Marcus Aurelius
and Cappucino monks.

Dreaded Mahakala no longer comes in like the Kali Yuga
to plunge his timeless hands into my heart
to fuel the cryptic mandalas and labyrinths I once
understood so well.

I can't buy a cup of coffee from the Starbucks mermaid
with even half of my latter verses
and a dollar in change.

Where is: my poem to commemorate the Dalai Lama's visit,
when a decade ago, I fought like that Persian lion Rustam to see him?

When was the last time I spoke of arhats and boddhisatva vows?

Melancholy creeps over me like a giant kudzu.

I'm rotting from compromise on the vine,
and if I don't turn it around,
I'll be an unexploded raisin
or pressed into some unsavory vintage
stored in the distended corner of some discount cellar.

But as I open the papers to the limbless youths of Iraq
and broken buddhas on the Afghan plains
it's hard to take writer's block seriously.

What is a lost word to a boy without a hand?

What does a missing sentence mean
to the condemned man in Congo who will die without even
a last meal?

Despair over a dearth of words is despicable.

To be wrapped up in semantics while semi-automatics chew apart
the youth in the heart of our cities is ... well, I've lost the word.

But I have no right to lament, and lift my pen to write again...

From BARROW, 2009

On March 17th, 180, Marcus Aurelius died.
This left Commodus the sole emperor of Rome.

The state of Asian American blogs?

Back in 2009, the website connected to the excellent documentary Vincent Who? featured a list of over 50 Asian American blogs. It certainly wasn't meant to be comprehensive, but was an interesting snapshot of many of the voices writing regularly in our community. I wanted to see how many are still active and operating.

Some interesting notes along the way of examining this list: Few of those listed were driven by a Southeast Asian American perspective, or those by transcultural adoptees.

The list also didn't include Asian American newspaper blogs such as Asian American Press, or literary journals such as the Kartika Review or Lantern Review, nor did they include those of many Asian American writers, such as Timothy Yu or Barbara Jane Reyes. These exclusions almost invalidate the list entirely for me, but I thought it would be an interesting exercise.

This year, on the 20th anniversary of Vincent Chin's murder, it's surprising to see who's still standing and posting out of the sample Vincent Who? noted three years ago.

Out of 55 listed, fewer than 30 are still around. I wouldn't call this a 40% attrition rate but it suggests there are some changes happening on the internet and how Asian Americans are developing their voices. What do you think? And who are some of the blogs you think should be listed in an updated list?

Among those we have left:
  2. AAA-Fund Blog
  4. Alpha Asian
  5. The ANBM Source
  6. Angry Asian Man
  7. Asian American Giving
  8. Asian-Nation
  9. Bakit Why
  10. Bicoastal Bitchin
  11. BigWowo
  12. Brown Men, Women and Children
  13. - broadcasting Asian America
  15. Film Beats (from the East)
  16. FlipFob
  17. Frank Chow: Asian- American Political Pundit
  18. Giant Robot: Eric Nakamura
  19. Giant Robot: Martin Wong
  20. Hyphen
  21. Instant Yang
  22. jozjozjoz
  23. Kimchi Mamas
  24. Manzanar Committee
  25. Mochi Blog
  26. NIKKEI VIEW: The Asian American Blog
  27. Racialicious
  28. Secret Asian Man
  29. Slant Eye For The Round Eye

Doing Literature: Dr. Faustus: April 14th!

On Saturday, April 14th, 2012 from 10:00 am to 11:30 am, the ongoing "Doing Literature" discussion group will meet at the Hemet Public Library at 300 East Latham Avenue.

This month's book is Christopher Marlowe's Doctor Faustus, about an ambitious scholar who sells his soul to the devil and the consequences. The discussion group is free to attend.

Written in Elizabethan English, Doctor Faustus is one of the most enduring of Marlowe's plays, and among the most controversial. It was first published in 1604, eleven years after the author's death and at least twelve years after the first performance of the play.

Before Marlowe, few writers ventured into this subject, especially concerning the demonic. After his play, it opened opportunities for other authors to explore their views on the spiritual world and how a man might rise and fall in their life. The story has since been explored in many genres and forms from comic books to horror films, comedies and even an episode of The Simpsons.

In his lifetime, Christopher Marlowe was an English dramatist, poet and translator of the Elizabethan era. Considered one of the foremost tragedians of his age, he is often studied for his blank verse, his overreaching protagonists, and his mysterious death.

On May 12th, the group will be discussing Hamlet, a play by English playwright William Shakespeare. For more information, visit

Friday, March 16, 2012

Kartika Review #12 is out!

The 12th issue of Kartika Review has arrived just in time for the Year of the Dragon. Or Nak, if you're Lao.

They have a nifty new website design as well. Be sure to send in pieces for consideration and to drop them a note to let you know what you think of the magazine. Or even better yet, buy one of their collected anthologies. It's a much different experience holding a collection of Asian American literature in your hands and not just on a screen.

Among the writers featured this issue are Adalena Kavanagh, Aruni Kashyap, Hai-Dang Phan, Ira Sukrungruang, Jenna Kilic, and Tony D’Souza. They also include interviews with Catherine Chung, author of Forgotten Country, and Krys Lee, author of Drifting House.

Be sure to check them out at

"Myth of Spirits": Lantern Review #4

Monica Mody discusses her latest poem, "Myth of Spirits" that appeared in the new issue of Lantern Review #4, where I also have a new poem, "Pen/Sword". Timothy Yu, Neil Aitken, Jenny Lu and Kathy Tran also have work that appears in this issue. You can find it online at:

She sees it as part of an ongoing series that she wants to write. I'm looking forward to seeing future work from her.

For me, "Pen/Sword: 3 tales or so" was conceived of largely as a self-contained poem, but I was also happy with the way it interconnected well with the work of several other of the poets featured this time around.

I think it's a rare but particularly delightful occurrence when editors are able to present so many pieces that dovetail with each other to make an interesting statement in the course of an issue. Each poem stands alone well enough, but when considered next to each other, it also becomes another distinctive experience.

"Pen/Sword: 3 tales or so" will probably raise questions at a later date regarding which poets I'm specifically referring to in the third sequence. Some will be more readily apparently than others, others will be a little more obscure.

Take your time with this issue. There are some wonderful pieces in it. 

POESIE ET RACBOUNI and On A Stairway In Luang Prabang

The French writer Edouard Dupas has recently translated my poem "On A Stairway In Luang Prabang" at POESIE ET RACBOUNI, ( The poem is translated as "Sur un escalier à Luang Prabang" and I think it's a very well-done translation that captures the essence of what I have written. But see for yourself.

A big thanks to him, and please be sure to take a look at many of his other posts there.

Poet to Poet: Kathryn Kysar

If you know a poet from Minnesota who you'd like to see me interview for this series, let me know and I'll try to connect with them to make it happen!

You can also check out Kathryn Kysar's work at

Thursday, March 15, 2012

[Poetry] Aligning with Time and Space

In the March/April issue of the American Poetry Review, one of the featured articles is "Why Write, If Not to Align Yourself with Time and Space?". It veers into a bit of navel-gazing and esoterica, but overall there are some questions that can be of significance for speculative poets, who I feel should be no less rigorous in their poetic practice as any other poet. The article opens up:

Hovering in the brain-space of readers, writers, editors, teachers, artists, students, and thinkers of all kinds is the idea that books, literary magazines, and even newspapers are on a steady course toward obsolescence. Poets, in particular, harbor suspicions that theirs is a largely unappreciated profession, and sometimes this appears to be true. But why might this be the case? Can we trace the problem back to the would-be readers, to the writers, to language? In the fall of 2010, prompted by Hannah Gamble, poets Timothy Donnelly, Ange Mlinko, and Matther Zapruder, along with fiction writer Steve Almond, exchanged emails about their early ideas of good and bad writing, what you need to know to be a poet, whether or not there are different rules for poetry and prose, and what airports can teach us about being writers and being human.

There are some interesting remarks of value for us. Mlinko notes that to her, "The language of poetry always has to reach beyond what language is normally called upon to do."   Mlinko's remarks resonated the most with me throughout the article, although each had some great thoughts on their own experiences and what they discovered along the way. 

The title of the article is derived from Fanny Howe's remark "Why write if not to align yourself with time and space? Better to wash the bottoms of the ill or dying." Mlinko felt that writing poetry wasn't about "feeling more deeply, or the privilege of talking with people poems and life" but "propitiation and thanksgiving, which is bound up with rehearsing a perfection in art that you can't have in life."  

Be sure to check it out if you get a chance.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

[Laos] SAIL program deadline April 16

The application deadline for the 2012 Study Abroad in Laos (SAIL) program is APRIL 16, 2012. Visit for more information including the application.

Early submissions are highly recommended for the program because of the limited space. Visit the Center for Lao Studies' SAIL homepage for the download-able application and brochure. Prospective applicants may also watch SAILers videos, view photos and read blogs at their website.

SAIL is an intensive month-long training Lao language and culture immersion program held in Vientiane, Laos. It is administered by the Center for Lao Studies (CLS) in collaboration with the Lao-American College (LAC).

For more information about SAIL program, please contact:
Center for Lao Studies
65 Ninth Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
Tel: 1-415-874-5578

Poets House Events in March

Some interest events coming up at Poets House this month to consider before National Poetry Month arrives:

Thursday, March 15, 7:00pm
Passwords: K. Silem Mohammad on Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth
Poet K. Silem Mohammad discusses Coleridge and Wordsworth’s collaboration, Lyrical Ballads, in the context of each poet’s development.
$10, $7 for students and seniors, free to Poets House Members

Friday, March 16, 7:00pm
The Life and Works of John Keats with Michael Harper, Judith Harris, Stanley Plumly and Anne Wright
Stanley Plumly, author of Posthumous Keats, is joined by poets Michael Harper, Judith Harris and Anne Wright for a discussion of the life and work of this beloved Romantic poet.
$10, $7 for students and seniors, free to Poets House Members

Saturday, March 17, 2:00–4:00pm
Passwords: Gigi Bradford on Anne Bradstreet, Phillis Wheatley and Frances Ellen Watkins Harper Poet and nonprofit arts leader Gigi Bradford looks at the life and work of women poets of the New World.
$10, $7 for students and seniors, free to Poets House Members

Tuesday, March 20, 7:00pm
Quincy Troupe on the Craft of Poetry
Poet Quincy Troupe talks about poetic forms and approaches to craft as exemplified by American poetry and discusses his own poetic innovations.
$10, $7 for students and seniors, free to Poets House Members

Wednesday, March 21, 7:00pm
The Life and Work of Hans Faverey
with Renee Gladman, Francis R. Jones, Eliot Weinberger and Jeffrey Yang
This evening celebrates the life and work of Surinam-born Dutch poet Hans Faverey (1933 - 1990), described by J.M. Coetzee as “the purest poetic intelligence of his generation.”
$10, $7 for students and seniors, free to Poets House Members

Saturday, March 24, 2:00–4:00pm
Passwords: Mark Doty on Walt Whitman
National Book Award winning poet Mark Doty leads a close reading of Whitman’s poem “Song of Myself,” as well as other works from Leaves of Grass.
$10, $7 for students and seniors, free to Poets House Members


Founded in 1985 by the late U.S. Poet Laureate Stanley Kunitz and arts administrator Elizabeth Kray, Poets House began a year-long celebration of its 25th anniversary of public programming this year, a celebration of their modest beginnings and growth to serving millions each year. Poets House continues to bring world-renowned poets to new audiences, welcoming poetry experts as well as those new to the art form, every day.

[Poem] Homunculus

We always want to make
Little men, playing around
In the kitchens of the gods
We made and prayed to

When midnight lightning
Could not be expressed
As a mere one plus one equation
To the Children of Oceans.

Their heirs, the Turning Wheels,
Today give snide smiles
To antique alchemy in
Favor of the clones we pray
Will surpass their aging mold,

A step short of immortal,
As righteous as the Zero.
From Barrow, 2009

March 14th is Pi Day


Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Doing Literature: A Man For All Seasons!

We’re discussing A Man For All Seasons on this Saturday at the Hemet Public Library at 10AM! We’ll see you there!

A Man for All Seasons (1960) examines Sir Thomas More's conflict with Henry VIII over his break with the Catholic Church.

Adapted from a radio play Bolt had written in 1954, it is generally regarded as Bolt's finest and most successful work. The original production featured Paul Scofield as Thomas More, as well as Keith Baxter as Henry VIII, George Rose as the Common Man, and Albert Dekker as the Duke of Norfolk.

His play develops in full his themes of individuality versus society. It also examines the corruption within authority, all ideas he would return to again in pieces such as Lawrence of Arabia, The Mission, The Bounty and Dr. Zhivago.

A Man For All Seasons was a huge critical and commercial success, with several revivals, and made into an acclaimed film in 1966.

The discussion is free to attend!

Horror Writer Association Reminder: Pick up your banquet tickets!

A reminder to Horror Writer Association members who are attending WHC 2012 in Salt Lake City at the end of March: Many of you haven't bought your Bram Stoker Awards™ Banquet Ticket yet. That's a separate ticket, everybody. Buy them before you forget:

Monday, March 05, 2012

[Poem] Tempus Fugit

Time flies, but it’s going in circles too,
A celestial hula hoop
For a shimmying deity’s tiniest toys
Pinned to obscure orbits.

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose,

Racing at full tilt like an old Spanish cavalier
On a windmill course to the other end of the start line
Grinding golden grain beneath her giant feet!

Who threw this disc into the air in the first place?
The sun a starter pistol, the moon a stopwatch,
Our eyes an imperfect witness

                                 Consistently blinking before the finish line is crossed.

From BARROW, 2009

On March 5th, 1616, Nicolaus Copernicus's book, De revolutionibus orbium coelestium was banned by the Catholic Church.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

[Poem] Paperfold and Ink

The little girl makes a thousand cranes
And I, a thousand poems.
For her trouble, she gets long life
And I, well, I don't know.

Maybe I get to come back as a stubborn red ox,
Or a young ox-herder, a lucky blackbird, or a snoozing puppy
Who can’t be caught easily in a fold of origami

While somewhere, a little book is being printed
Telling the tale of a little girl and her thousand cranes.

from Japonisme, Laoisme, 2012
March 3rd is Hinamatsuri, or Girls Day In Japan

Asian American Literary Collective at AWP

If you're at AWP this week, be sure to stop by the Kartika Review and Lantern Review table at the table named Asian American Literary Collective! It's great to see both journals represented at the national AWP conference.

 The Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) is a national, nonprofit literary organization for teachers and writers. Founded in 1967, AWP is dedicated to serving writers, teachers, and writing programs. Their core services include publication of The Writer's Chronicle, the AWP Job List, and the AWP Official Guide to Creative Writing Programs. Their Career Services are available for members only. AWP also sponsors an annual conference & a number of annual writing competitions.

The mission of the Kartika Review is to serve the Asian American community and "those involved with Diasporic Asian-inspired literature. We scout for compelling Asian American creative writing and artwork to present to the public at large. Our editors actively solicit contributions from established virtuosos in our community in hopes their works here will inspire the next generation of virtuosos. We also want to promote emerging writers and artists we foresee to be the future powerhouses of their craft. Ultimately, Kartika strives to create a literary forum that caters to and celebrates the wordsmiths of the Asian Diaspora."

The aim of the Lantern Review is to seek to publish expertly crafted work in a variety of forms and aesthetics. They "welcome pieces from anglophone writers of all ethnic backgrounds whose work has a vested interest in issues relevant to the Asian diaspora in North America, as well as work created collaboratively in a community context."

Be sure to check both of them out if you get a chance!

Thursday, March 01, 2012

2 horror stories at

My horror stories "A Model Apartment" and "The Dog At The Camp" have been accepted by AnthologyBuilder.Com.

There, you are the editor of your own anthology. You choose stories from their archive of authorized reprints, arrange them how you'd like, and customize the book with a personalized introduction. One to two weeks after you place your order, they will deliver a printed, bookstore-quality anthology to your address. Their books feature a durable paperback binding, a title and cover art of your choice, and a glossy finish.

It's possible to make some fun anthologies from the other stories already there. These include popular public domain stories and work from more modern writers.

For example, you could assemble a collection of work from Catherine Lundoff, A.C. Wise, Charles Tan, Bram Stoker, Edgar Allan Poe, Arthur Machen, Deborah P Kolodji and Michael Merriam. I think it's a great way for you to explore the process of constructing an anthology, and to see what goes into selecting a piece and creating a readable whole.

As far as I can tell, I'm the first Lao American writer there, but hopefully in the coming years ahead, others will also submit their work so it will be possible to create your own Lao American or Southeast Asian American anthology. Time will tell!

"A Model Apartment" first appeared in Innsmouth Free Press #4 in 2010, and "The Dog At The Camp" appeared in Tales of the Unanticipated in 2006.

"A Model Apartment" is a Lovecraftian story of Hmong artist from Milwaukee who moves to the storied city of Arkham only to rediscover an ancient evil. "The Dog At The Camp" is a Hmong veteran's oral account of an incident with an unusual dog on a Laotian battlefield. We're hoping that eventually, the updated version of "The True Tale of Yer" will also be accepted so you can include that in an anthology, as well as "What Hides, What Returns."

Be sure to check it out!