Saymoukda Vongsay

Saymoukda Duangphouxay Vongsay is a Lao American writer. She was born in a refugee camp in Nongkhai, Thailand and immigrated to Minnesota in 1984. Because of her unique background, her work is 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, Theater Mu, Consortium of Asian American Theater Artists, and Theater Unbound. She is a Playwright’s Center and Theater Mu fellow in playwriting, a Loft Literary Center fellow in poetry and a fellow in childrens/young adult literature, a Twin Cities Media Alliance fellow in public art, and an Aspen Ideas Bush Foundation scholar.

Her poetry, essays, plays, and short stories can be found in the Asian American Literary Review, Massachusetts Review, Rubin Arts Museum Spiral Magazine, Journal for Southeast Asian American Education and Advancement, Saint Paul Almanac, and fun places like coffee sleeves (Coffee House Press) and on metro transit (Saint Paul Almanac). She’s received creative grants from the Jerome Foundation, Bush Foundation, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Forecast Public Art, Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, and the MN State Arts Board, to name a few.

She holds a Master in Liberal Studies degree and co-hosted a podcast on Minnesota Public Radio. Her picture book, “When Everything Was Everything” (Full Circle Publishing) is available now. @REFUGENIUS