Saymoukda’s introduction to her series: “Grace Lee Boggs, the great late activist, mother of Asian Pacific Islander American (APIA) political consciousness, and my personal patron saint of bad-assery (she lived to be 100) once said that ‘consciousness is power’ and urged the necessity of ‘linking love and revolution’ in our work to transform communities. APIA artists who are women/nonbinary are using their passions, gifts, and talents to make moves. Because we are from our bodies and the histories that define us, our artmaking often aims to interrogate from a place of love. But how do we practice confidently when our agency is often denied and our full humanity silenced? The ten APIA artists in this collection have been asked, ‘What would it mean for you to be given agency?’ and they’ve attempted to write into clarity, their unapologetic truths.”
Saymoukda Duangphouxay Vongsay is a Lao American writer focused on creating tools and spaces for the amplification of refugee voices through poetry, theater, and experimental cultural production. Her plays have been presented by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center and Theater Mu. She is a Playwright’s Center and Theater Mu fellow in playwriting, a Loft Literary Center fellow in poetry as well as in children’s literature, a Twin Cities Media Alliance fellow in public art, and an Aspen Ideas Bush Foundation scholar. She holds a Master in Liberal Studies degree and co-hosted a podcast on Minnesota Public Radio. Her picture book, When Everything Was Everything, is available now.