Bryan Thao Worra
Biography of Bryan Thao Worra
Bryan Thao Worra was born in 1973 in
Vientiane, Laos during the Lao civil
war. He came to the US at six months
old, adopted by a civilian pilot flying
in Laos. In 2003, he reunited with his
biological family after 30 years during
his first return to Laos.
An award-winning writer, his work appears in numerous international anthologies, magazines and newspapers, including Innsmouth Free Press, Kartika Review, Outsiders Within, Bamboo Among the Oaks, Tales of the Unanticipated, Astropoetica, Quarterly Literary Review Singapore,
Whistling Shade, Journal of the Asian American Renaissance, and Asian American Press.
In 2009 he became the first Laotian American to receive an NEA Fellowship In Literature. In 2012 he was a Cultural Olympian during the Summer Olympics in London representing Laos. He is the author of the books On the Other Side of the Eye, BARROW, Tanon Sai Jai and Winter Ink. Thao Worra curated numerous readings
and exhibits of Lao and Hmong American art including Legacies of War: Refugee Nation Twin Cities (2010) , Emerging Voices (2002) , The 5 Senses Show (2002) ,
Lao’d and Clear (2003) , Giant Lizard Theater (2005) , Re: Generations (2005) , and The Un-Named Series (2007) .
Bryan Thao Worra's Works:
On The Other Side Of The Eye, Sam's Dot Publishing, August 10,2007
BARROW, Sam's Dot Publishing, October 10,2009
Winter Ink, Minnesota Center for Book Arts, December 15,2008
The Tuk-Tuk Diaries: My Dinner With Cluster Bombs, Unarmed Press,2003
Tanon Sai Jai, Silosoth Press, May 2009
Touching Detonations, Sphinxhouse Press,2003
DEMONSTRA, Innsmouth Free Press,2013
Bryan Thao Worra Poems
There is a famous account of Jiang Yan, an official of the Southern Dynasty. One night, he dreamt a god presented him a wondrous writing brush. From that day forward, his literary talents were beyond compare. When he grew old, the god appeared again as a dream and retrieved the brush. Jiang Yan’s writing was never as brilliant again. Given a thousand nights,
A Crime In Xieng Khouang
Someone stole my boots from A Phonsavan porch Around dinner time In the dark.
Maybe one day, A page will be found, A song will be heard, A stroke will be drawn
E Pluribus Unum
Youa tells me a story over the hot hibachi: How she went to Laos To see her lucky sisters
We turn our dishes to Heaven, but What manner of dog will come running
Our Dinner With Cluster Bombs
Our pilot packs a Makarov Flying into the outskirts Of the old province capitol Long since delivered to kingdom come.
Speak to me of padaek And some poor ba ferments, pungent, chunky and spicy. Alas, so unlikely to catch on like sriracha or sushi, At least in this century.
New Myths Of A Northern Land
"Dream, " I said, "Aren't you tired of making new legends That no one but I ever hears? "
From the moment I met her She's been wiggling, Squirming,
Golden Triangle, Holy Mountain
Will I ever see poppies In their natural habitat? How red they appear in All of these pictures beside
Surprises In America
It took me by surprise that Hitler was a vegetarian. Rudolf Hess, too. I remember reading about them as a boy. I remember the outrage when someone asked us to forgive them
Since the 6th century B.C., The Buddha has said The right perspective, The right motive,
Moon Crossing Bone
Lover of change, of delta Of poetry stuffed with raw porcelain And craters of saddened basalt
Sometimes, I want to tell you. Laying by your side, it‟s a mystery to explain Why I gave up my poetry for so long.
April begins as a joke in a house of children:
A surprise, a word, a laugh if we‟re lucky.
There are still bills and taxes and poems ahead, at least in America.
With a sabaidee we say hello to a new year,
La kawn to yesterday and the many mornings before.
The flowers begin to bloom, the rain and wind are welcome.
There are so many places to go these days,