[dropcap]M[/dropcap]innesota is home to a great many odd things, from the world’s largest Lutefisk factory to the largest Zombie Pub Crawl in the United States. To close out the year, Weird poet Bryan Thao Worra will be hosting the launch party for his new collection of Speculative Poetry, Demonstra, on Monday, December 30th at the Lao Cultural Center at 2648 West Broadway Avenue in Minneapolis from 4:30 to 6:30pm. It’s free and open to the public.
He’ll have copies of Demonstra on hand (or tentacle; you can never be quite certain with him). There will be additional entertainment and refreshment as he takes you on a guided tour through the supernatural and the strange as seen through a Lao American lens. Could Cthulhu have been a part of the Ramayana? Could zombies have Buddha nature? Ancient Lao ghosts and weretigers, cannibal grandmothers, serpent gods, and long-lost brothers and sisters are among the many characters you’ll find in this collection, which sells for $10.
A frequent contributor to Innsmouth Free Press, Bryan Thao Worra has presented at the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival in Los Angeles, San Diego Comic-Con, Arcana, Diversicon, MarsCon, ConVergence, and even at the Mall of America. His work was displayed in London during the 2012 Olympics and he is the first Lao writer to hold professional membership in the Horror Writers Association as well as be an officer of the Science Fiction Poetry Association. His work has appeared in the anthologies, Future Lovecraft and Historical Lovecraft.
Lao American author Nor Sanavongsay will also be debuting his very first children’s book from Sahtu Press, A Sticky Mess. Sanavongsay has created a lavishly illustrated adaptation of a traditional Lao legend that has been popular for almost six centuries, involving a trickster of the highest order. Sanavongsay’s father used to tell him these stories growing up and now he’s continuing the tradition. A Sticky Mess was over fourteen years in the making.
Also among those presenting that night is Lao American playwright Saymoukda Vongsay. She was the creator of the highly successful play, Kung Fu Zombies vs. Cannibals, which had sold-out crowds and was recently named the Best Production of 2013 by L’Etoile Magazine.
Space for this event was donated by Lao Advancement Organization of America, which was a non-profit organization established in 1988 to meet the needs of Lao refugees in Minnesota.
Demonstra is the first full-length collection of poetry presented by Innsmouth Free Press and includes the visual artwork of Texas-based artist Vongduane Manivong, who has displayed her work nationally.