2 Khmer writers nominated for Pushcart Prize

Poets Network & Exchange Magazine recently announced their Pushcart Prize Nominees, including authors Sokunthary Svay, author of Apsara in New York and Peuo Tatyana Tuy, author of Khmer Girl.  Peuo Tatyana Tuy was selected for Hasbro Neon Light Brights and Sokunthary Svay was selected for Don’t Let Your Heritage Be Past Tense.

The Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses series, published every year since 1976, is the most honored literary project in America.

Since 1976, hundreds of presses and thousands of writers of short stories, poetry and essays have been represented in our annual collections. Each year most of the writers and many of the presses are new to the series. Every volume contains an index of past selections, plus lists of outstanding presses with addresses. The Pushcart Prize has been a labor of love and independent spirits since its founding. It is one of the last surviving literary co-ops from the 60’s and 70’s.

Sokunthary Svay is a Khmer writer and musician from the Bronx, New York. She and her family were refugees from Cambodia who survived the genocidal Khmer Rouge Regime. She is the poetry editor for Newtown Literary. A founding member of the Cambodian American Literary Arts Association (CALAA), her work has been published internationally in Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia, London and Australia. Svay was a subject in New York Magazine’s “Living in a Sanctuary City” portfolio and featured in the New York Immigration Coalition’s This is Our NY, broadcast in Times Square. Additional writing credits include Homelands: Women’s Journeys Across Race, Place and Time, LONTAR: Journal for Southeast Asian Speculative Fiction, FLESH, Prairie Schooner, Women’s Studies Quarterly, Blue Lyra Review and Mekong Review. She is the author of Apsara in New York, a first collection of poetry, Willow Press. She is a past Willow Arts Alliance Residency Fellow and a recipient of the First Friday Residency at the Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning. Svay recently received an American Opera Projects’ Composers & the Voice Fellowship for 2017-18, where she will gain experience as a writer for voice and the operatic stage alongside her composer partner Liliya Ugay.

Peuo Tatyana Tuy is a spoken word poet, creative workshop instructor, and community organizer. Her poetry collection, Khmer Girl (2014), is inspired by the traumas of her life, including her family escaping the killing fields of their native Cambodia and enduring the inequities of life as immigrants in the United States. Her work has appeared in Art Papers (2016), WHYY (2017), a Philadelphia news media, and Poets Network & Exchange magazine (2017), Lao American Review (2017), Sahtu Press (2017), LAOMAGINATION (2017). She has also been featured in video projects such as The New School’s “Futurographies: Cambodia-USA-France (2016), Northern Monday Films (2017), Urbintel (2005), and 30ToLifeProductions (2016). Peuo Tuy has appeared at Harvard Law School, Massachusetts State House, The Big Read/Miami Book Fair, the 2017 Minnesota Fringe Festival, New York Foundation for the Arts, as well as various junior high schools and high schools in the east coast. Peuo is one of the founding members and the Executive Director of the new Cambodian American Literary Arts Association, and is currently working on her forthcoming book of poetry entitled, Neon Light Brights.

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