I remember meeting Bryan the first time as he was speaking at a film festival I was helping to program. It wasn't a lot of money. A small stipend and parking, a place to sell books. I saw him again at a reading when I was meeting another friend from out of town. Bryan has always been there to help give his unique voice to programs and events and to the communities he believes in and is a part of - and that only covers just a little bit - there are so many other projects and initiatives he's been involved in that I only know about from a surface level.
He's won so many awards - recognized for his work and what he's done.
He's a NEA Literature Fellowship winner.
But doing what he does, and I don't know Bryan as well as others, those meetings and group interactions (a jukebox group) and different posts - I imagine it has to be like anyone else. Sometimes there's an ebb and flow. The work and the projects have to be there and sometimes it can be feast or famine.
And sometimes the perfect storm hits.
From the Youcaring site.
Award-winning Lao American poet, Bryan Thao Worra, is currently moving between public libraries, coffee shops, homes and other temporary spaces. Last year, he struggled with minimal writing gigs that put his total income well under the poverty line, as his health conditions continue to be problematic. Bryan’s hope in his next chapter is to travel across the states to continue his work researching, writing, and documenting. He’ll need space, time, and the means to get around and allow him to do what he does best: creating and writing. As his friends, we're raising funds to help him get back to being Bryan. We need funds for a used car and to assist with living expenses that will help get him through the rest of this year. Help us help him and continue to do what he most passionate about. For himself and our community [...]
We know very little people who have not been impacted by the presence and inspiration of Bryan work. Bryan would tell a room full of young writers that, “I write because there are others in this world who aren’t able to.” And “sometimes a cup of coffee gets you a cup of coffee,” he often jokes. Few friends are like the legendary Bryan Thao Worra. He knows the art of wordsmithing that holds weight, meaning and a pathway to our hearts and minds. He's transformative and shifts worlds to better places than it once were through his poetry alone. He opens up doors to our consciousness to what’s possible-- social change through the arts and imagination. His generous ability to advocate and blaze pathways for the arts and fellow underrepresented Asian American communities is unmatched. He has inspired hundreds who’ve come to know him as a writer, mentor and above all else, a damn good friend. This year is Bryan's 10th anniversary of his first book and it’s overdue time that he is deserving of our community’s help to lift him back up as much as he has lifted us.
If you've been impacted, touched by Bryan's work, I would urge you to consider supporting the youcaring initiative going on right now for him - any amount (or in-kind donation) can help.
Go to the fund page @ youcaring.com to donate.