In this episode, Saymoukda Vongsay aka Mooks talks about being a refugee, nicknames, transitioning from being a poet to a playwright and why she’s totally fine with always being labeled a Lao artist.
Saymoukda Duangphouxay Vongsay is an award-winning Lao American poet, playwright, and cultural producer. She was born in a refugee camp in Nongkhai, Thailand and currently lives in Minnesota. She created the REFUGENIUS brand and identity in 1993 when she decided to pursue ART as a career. REFUGENIUS is a portmanteau of REFUGEE and GENIUS.
Vongsay’s work has been highlighted by The New York Times, American Theatre Magazine, City Pages, Vita.MN, Pioneer Press, Star Tribune, WCCO, Minnesota Public Radio, KFAI, Candy Fresh, TPT’s TV Takeover and Giving Thanks programs, the U of Minnesota’s Immigration History Research Center’s Immigrant Stories project, and more.