Bryan Thao Worra Is The Inaugural Lao Minnesotan Poet Laureate

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

And in other Lao news from a few weeks back:

St. Paul, Minn. (Oct. 24, 2018) — The Lao Assistance Center of Minnesota has announced that Bryan Thao Worra is the inaugural Lao Minnesotan Poet Laureate as the Lao community prepares for the 45th anniversary of their diaspora in the United States. This honorary literary designation recognized his 20 years of service to the Lao community in Minnesota as an artist, educator and community builder.

The Lao Assistance Center is the first and oldest non-profit organization established in Minnesota to assist the Lao refugee community reconstruction in the aftermath of the war for Laos that ended in 1975. Over the decades, among their numerous projects have been art and cultural programming, including their work bringing the Lao American Writers Summit and the Legacies of War: Refugee Nation Twin Cities exhibition to Minneapolis, as well as convening the Lao American Storytellers Festival and the Before We Remember We Dream exhibit. They’ve regularly convened the Lao New Year’s Festival and supported traditional music and dance education with several programs throughout the years. Thao Worra has collaborated with them regularly in various roles since 2008.

During his tenure as the Lao Minnesotan Poet Laureate, his duties will include giving public readings in urban and rural locations across Minnesota and the US, educating civic and state leaders about the value of Lao American poetry and creative expression, and undertaking a significant cultural project, with one of its goals being to bring Lao American poetry to those who might otherwise have little opportunity to be exposed.

Don't Hate Me Because I Married A Strong, Beautiful, And Smart Asian American Woman

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

I've always said it - love is love, get it on with whoever you want too.


Don't let anyone ever tell you who you can and can't be with, indulge in, or choose to live your life with.

At the same time - and these two aren't mutually exclusive but I'm writing this in some ways as they are - sometimes I feel like I can't always talk about choosing and wanting to be with, specifically, someone who was Asian American.

I'm not saying I don't, because sometimes it can go without saying, or doesn't need too - but sometimes, for some people, it can feel like you might be making a statement on their relationships because of how you look at yours.

Like someone who talks about their new Jaguar they get every year, and you're keeping your Prius until it dies, it might make you think about what you don't have.

But maybe you like your Prius too. You think that Prius is a Jaguar.

In that way it's really the perception of the Jaguar owner, so that's on them.

But what if, secretly, the person who had the Prius, really wanted the Jaguar.

And then their friend keeps on talking about how much they love their Jaguar.

And maybe the person who has the Prius can afford the Jaguar, but they still have a lease, maybe don't want to go through the trouble to upgrade (and I don't mean any offense by that, but this might offend some other people, so maybe it doesn't matter, but I'm just talking figuratively in regard to real world costs) - that's on them.

I chose to make a baby with someone who was Asian American. While I dated a lot of different types of people, in the end, I didn't want to be with someone who wasn't Asian for the rest of my life.

And I think it can be different for a couple who is Asian and Black or LatinX, or Indigenous - because of shared experiences specific to p.o.c. and immigrant descents -

-- versus what has been the dominant culture and pairing.

And in those cases, or where there's been learning and education from a progressive standpoint, maybe where someone jokes like "Yeah, I wish I was with someone who was Asian, but somehow I got stuck with this lumpy White Guy" - there's a difference.

Love who you love, be with who you want too, but it's also okay to say Asian on Asian love is okay.

I get it, from an overall perspective, but at the same time, because of power dynamics, it's not always the same.

And it's true - it does work itself out. Whatever is comfortable will be comfortable, and same with other people around you as well.

Should you question someone else's allegiance to the APIA community because they aren't married to someone who is Asian?

No, absolutely not.

But has anyone put a "but" there in different situations and scenarios, right or wrong, even if never said out loud?


At the same time, I still married a Korean American woman.

Did I betray my Southeast Asian Vietnamese American side?

Was I a traitor?

Do Viet people everywhere get to roll their eyes if I say Viet women are the best and most amazing women in the world, because if that's true, than why didn't I marry Viet?



But do I say that?

Not like that.

Is what works for one person different than another?



That's Cool: Kaysone Syonesa Day In Minnesota

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Apparently this happened a couple months ago while I was sleeping.

MINNEAPOLIS (Oct. 28, 2018) — The office of the Mayor of the city of Minneapolis recently presented a proclamation recognizing October 10, 2018 as Kaysone Syonesa Day in recognition of the 40th birthday of the Lao Minnesotan artist who has long-standing roots in North Minneapolis since her family resettled in the United States after the Laotian Civil War, including the 5th Ward.

The request was made by the members of the Southeast Asian Literature Interdisciplinary Theater Arts Center, (SEALIT) which recently received funding from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council to convene the 20-year retrospective exhibition and workshop series Laomagination in North Minneapolis. Community members cited Syonesa as “a positive mentor and friend of students and families of diverse backgrounds and helped them pursue their dreams; and someone who “has encouraged good character, lifelong pursuit of art, education and civic engagement through personal and professional example...Minnesota has the third largest Lao refugee population in the US, with an estimated 13,000 community members in the state, many in Minneapolis and the greater Twin Cities metropolitan area.”


Michigan Professor Tsu-Yin Wu Gets $3 Million Grant To Improve Health Of Underserved Asian Americans

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Nice work if you can get it.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has awarded nearly $3 million to an Eastern Michigan University educator to lead an effort to improve the health of underserved Asian-American populations in Wayne and Kent counties.

Professor Tsu-Yin Wu will serve as principal investigator on a cooperative agreement with the CDC, the university said. Wu teaches nursing in Eastern Michigan's College of Health and Human Services.

The team will develop, implement and evaluate interventions to address risk behaviors such as tobacco use, poor nutrition and physical inactivity among Asian-Americans with heightened risks for diabetes and other chronic conditions.

The grant is for more than $590,000 per year for five years. The CDC has committed funds for the first year. Subsequent funding will be based on the team's progress.

Especially since it helps our people.


Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Lit: Isako Isako

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

We Knew That: Asians Stream YouTube

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

3 year-old's stream their shows.

About Andy Ngo (?) + The Stranger

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

I don't really know that much about Andy Ngo.

Here's some of the interview (?)

KH: Are you a fascist?
AN: No. Just because I'm not on-board with the socialist or leftist political agenda does not then mean that I support the extreme right. This is reductive and reactionary thinking.

Are you a racist?
No. I am critical of the so-called racial justice movement and its various offshoots because I generally find them divisive, authoritarian, and hypocritical.

Are you a Nazi?
I wish I could find this offensive but unfortunately this term has been appropriated from its historical context to become a meaningless slur.

So are you a Nazi?

Are you conservative?
I am described this way by others but my political identity is a bit more complicated. I certainly don't identify with any party.

Are you a Trump supporter?
I am neither a Trump hater or supporter. As an American citizen, I believe it is my duty to respect the office of the presidency and the electoral process.

Why do you cover the left behaving badly?
The problems with the right and far-right are well-known and documented extensively in mainstream media. However, the opposite cannot be said. Living in Portland, I witness what happens when the excesses of the far-left go unchallenged. It leads to people mobbing their neighbors and feeling righteous for doing it. I want accountability to happen on both sides. If the local media won't do it, I will.

Asian American Projects 2018 A.CRA (AKA Pre Crazy Rich Asians)

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

An Asian-American screenwriter I recently met mentioned she'd sold a screenplay whose lead characters are Asian, and the storyline was inspired by a holiday in Taiwan. She'd finished it earlier in the year, but her manager advised her not to take it out to the studios until after the premiere of Crazy Rich Asians in August. If the movie did well, studios would be way more interested. If the movie tanked, no one would want her script anyway, and they'd have to wait (presumably until the fumes of Crazy Rich Asians' failure faded) before taking it out.

CRA did gangbusters at the box office, and she sold her screenplay that month to a major studio.

I've since heard from network development executives and writers that multiple Asian-centric TV and film projects have been bought or are being developed in the wake of CRA's success, from Jessica Gao's Lazy Rich Asians at ABC to Lillian Yu's feature script Singles Day at New Line. All because CRA did what the industry long thought was impossible: get mainstream audiences to show up (and pay good money) for a movie about ... Asians.

Asian Santa In Pics (Well...One...Pic)

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Shoplifters, Killing Eve, The Globes

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Other nominations went to Mirai (best animated film) and Shoplifters (best foreign language film), both from Japan; Darren Criss (best performance by an actor in a limited series or film made for television) for The Assassination of Gianni Versace: An American Crime Story; and Sandra Oh (best performance by an actress in a television drama series) for Killing Eve.

Yes And True: OAAB

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

I've been slowly getting into this more.


Tuesday, December 11, 2018

To The Asian Guy In Michael Jackson's "Bad" Video

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Couldn't find your name in the look familiar?

Forgot you were in that video.

But thank you.

99 Tropes, E.J. Gong, Nov. 24.-Dec. 23, At Seattle's 12th Avenue Arts

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

"We don’t just need one movie with an all-Asian cast. Or one play with an Asian American man as the lead. We need lots of them. We need plays and TV shows that more accurately reflect all the diverse faces of our country. We need to move beyond stereotypes of Asians, Blacks, Latinos, women and LGBTQ people so we can be seen as we are: diverse, complicated and varied in our personalities and our opinions.

One of my good friends is a successful Hollywood writer. Since I couldn’t find a play I liked with an Asian American lead, I asked him to write one. We’re putting the show on in Capitol Hill starting this week. The play, 99 Tropes, is an entertaining comedy about a Hollywood writer’s room. I play C. Chan, a writer whose pilot gets picked up by a major TV network. But when the ratings tank, Chan dreams up a wild new direction for the show — with a shocking twist."

Read more about the show at