A New Year and Looking Forward
Welcome to 2015!
Sahtu Press just recently celebrated our first year since the release of "A Sticky Mess," our first children's book, and we marked the occasion in part with finishing the edits for our first poetry collection "Dance Among Elephants" by Krysada Panusith Phounsiri which will be available for sale soon on our website and other outlets.
Of course, for the Lao American community the real new year isn't until April but twelve months seems like a good time to pause and reflect on where we've been and where we're going. We've been weighing a number of possibilities for follow-ups including the next book in the Xieng Mieng series. In this book, we will discover how he gets his name, and how he left the temple. The question is: How do we take such a classic tale to even greater heights when so many other great writers have also told the story before?
We're also looking into bringing forward one of our underground favorite characters, Kiwi the Green Koala and his pals with new character design updates for everyone. This will be a character aimed primarily for kids six and under, but we have a feeling he'll appeal to children of all ages. We may also see the first appearance of a new Lao superhero for the next generation!
We’re looking into doing a podcast soon where we’ll discuss many of the regular issues and ideas that get discussed around the table each night at Sahtu Press headquarters in sunny Dublin, California.
Work continues on the Lao American Speculative Arts anthology. We've decided to make a number of hard cuts and call for some revisions or updates to a lot of the material we'd received previously. We want this to be a collection that stands out that you'll be proud to put on your shelves and we think you'll love the results. You'll be amazed at how people imagine a Lao future through science fiction, fantasy and even horror!
Some of the events we know we’re looking forward to already include the 2nd National Lao American Writers Summit, which has partnered with the “Lao American and Historical Contexts” Symposium in Minneapolis to bring together some of the leading thinkers in the Lao American community to consider where we’ve been and where we’re going. It will be held at the Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center in Minnesota April 17-19th.
Shortly afterwards, we will be joining the Southeast Asian American Small Press Consortium for the Association for Asian American Studies Conference in Chicago. In May, we’ll be attending the Laos in the House exhibit in Philadelphia, the result of nearly five years of writer Catzie Vilayphonh’s organizing efforts. August is the Laotian American National Conference in Providence, and we will likely be discussing many issues for Lao American writers and publishers there. It will also be National Lao American Artists Heritage Month.
2015 is the 40th year of the Lao Diaspora, and our friends at Little Laos on the Prairie, along with Chantala Khommanivanh and Laos In the House are organizing several events to recognize the occasion including a 2-month exhibit at the Brooklyn Center Library opening this April, and a pop-up exhibit at Vine Gallery in South Minneapolis on January 10th. If you get a chance, we recommend attending.
One thing we learned, looking back at our first year is that you have to brace for many bumps. But these aren’t things to make you give up but instead remind you how to prioritize and appreciate what you really love and want to do. And you need to have good friends who will stand by you and work with you to become not just the best you are but the best you want to be.
Happy New Year, and we look forward to showing you more of our progress in the coming weeks ahead!
They go by fast!