CROSSING BORDERS: Hearing Other Voices in Poetry

Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets announces Spring Contest winners at Madison Conference

The Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets (WFOP) held its Spring Conference at the Crown Plaza Hotel and Conference Center in Madison on April 29 and 30, 2016.

The conferenece theme was CROSSING BORDERS: Hearing Other Voices in Poetry. The featured presenters were, Bryan Thao Worra, Kao Kalia Yang, and Ed Bok Lee. All are Asian-American poets/writers with unique, diverse voices. The presentations were both riveting and rewarding.

Muse Prize and Chapbook contest winners were also announced. 

Bryan Thao Worra: is a Laotian-American writer. His books include On The Other Side Of The Eye, Touching Detonations, Winter Ink, Barrow and The Tuk Tuk Diaries: My Dinner With Cluster Bombs. He is the first Laotian American to receive a Fellowship in Literature from the United States government’s National Endowment for the Arts.  He received an Asian Pacific Leadership Award from the State Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans for Leadership in Arts in 2009. His latest collection, Demonstra, won the Science Fiction Poetry Association Elgin Award for Book of the Year in 2014.  He was selected as a Cultural Olympian representing Laos during the 2012 Summer Olympics.

Bryan wrote a post for his blog On the Other Side of the Eye about his experience at the spring conference.

Kao Kalia Yang is a Hmong American writer and author of The Late Homecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir from Coffee House Press.  Her work has appeared in Paj Ntaub Voice Hmong literary journal and numerous other publications. She wrote the lyric documentary, The Place Where We Were Born.  Her new book, titled The Song Poet, will be published in 2016 by Metropolitan Books.

Ed Bok Lee is an American writer.  His most recent book, Whorled (Coffee House Press), won the 2012 American Book Award, and the 2012 Minnesota Book Award in Poetry.  His first book, Real Karaoke People (New Rivers Press), won the 2008 PEN/Open Book Award, and the 2008 Asian American Literary Award (Members’ Choice Award).

Soham Patel moderated a panel discussion between the authors/presenters to help round out consideration of crossing borders. 


Special Presentation

In the afternoon, there was also a special presentation by Fabu, Richard Swanson and Kimberly Blanchette of a choral poem called Fugitive.


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