Asian American Press recently reported that The Loft Literary Center announced that Saymoukda Duangphouxay Vongsay of Minneapolis is a recipient of the 2017 Spoken Word Immersion Fellowship. This follows fast on the news that she was selected as the recipient of the Intermedia Arts Verve Grant as well as a Minnesota State Arts Board Cultural Collaboration Grant.
Other Loft fellowship recipients include Diego Vazquez and Marcie Rendon (Minneapolis), #BlackTransMagick, J Mase III & Vita E. (Seattle and Chicago), and Camisha L. Jones (Herndon, Va.). The alternate recipient is Hieu Minh Nguyen, with honorable mentions to Keno Evol, May Lee Yang and Alysia Harris.
The Loft Spoken Word Immersion Fellowship is for artists of color and Indigenous artists and provides writers financial support and professional assistance to develop and implement community learning and enrichment plans. Winners receive grants of $7,500 to underwrite projects of their own design. Each year, at least one winner will be a Minnesota resident, with four winners selected each year.
A member of the Science Fiction Poetry Association, Vongsay will travel Minnesota to have conversations with ethnic Lao survivors of the Vietnam War. She will then create a new body of work inspired by their stories and produce video poems.
Vongsay was born in a refugee camp in Nongkhai, Thailand and immigrated to Minnesota in 1984. Her work focuses on creating tools and spaces for the amplification of refugee voices through poetry, theater, and experimental cultural production. She was the inaugural recipient of the Alfred C. Carey Prize in Spoken Word in 2010
Vongsay’s writings can be found in such publications as Saint Paul Almanac (Arcata Press), Lessons For Our Time (MN Center for Book Arts), Journal of Southeast Asian American Education and Advancement (Purdue University Press), and The Asian American Literary Review (Binghamton University). She is best known for her award-winning play KUNG FU ZOMBIES VS CANNIBALS (Theater Mu) and is developing two more plays for the KUNG FU ZOMBIEVERSE anthology of stage works. Her website can be found at http://www.saymoukdatherfugenius.com.
Founded in 1974 (incorporated in 1975), The Loft Literary Center is one of the nation’s leading literary arts centers. The Loft advances the artistic development of writers, fosters a thriving literary community, and inspires a passion for literature. Their core values are that “literature is essential, writing can be taught, inclusiveness is imperative, boldness brings excellence, community makes us strong, and wise management fuels our success.” Find our more online at http://www.loft.org.