Kao Kalia Yang | Sun Ray Library | March – April 2015

CoffeeHousePressCoffee House Press and The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library are pleased to announce that Kao Kalia Yang, author of The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir (Coffee House Press, 2008), will be Sun Ray Library’s writer-in-residence this Spring.

Kao Kalia Yang is a member of the Hmong ethnic minority. Her memoir, The Latehomecomer, was the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2009 Minnesota Book Award for Creative Nonfiction/Memoir. Her follow-up, The Song Poet (Metropolitan Books, 2016), is a tribute to both her father and to the Hmong tradition of storytelling.

As a speaker presenting to groups in K-12 public and private schools, universities and colleges, and various other community groups, Yang addresses the immigrant experience and helps facilitate storytelling both on and off the page. During the course of her residency, she’ll use the books, space, and community at Sun Ray Library to further develop her craft as a writer and storyteller.

Yang will give a public presentation on May 6, 2015 at 7pm at Sun Ray Library. She will be joined by Rebecca Ryan, manager of the Sun Ray branch of the Saint Paul Library System.


Coffee House Press in the Stacks: A Writers and Readers Library Residency Program

As part of its continuing effort to put books into action, the nonprofit book publisher Coffee House Press has launched an initiative to place writers and readers in residencies at various area institutional and community libraries.

The program places authors in artistic residencies in different kinds of distinguished libraries and collections. With this program, Coffee House Press aims to create a body of work that will inspire a broader public to engage with their local libraries in a new and meaningful way, and to encourage artists and the general public to think about libraries as creative spaces.

Each resident artist will “collaborate with the collection” to create new work. In addition, they will post dispatches on the In the Stacks tumblr and partnering library blog during the residency, chronicling their day-to-day activities.

The end results, ranging from essays, fiction, and poems to old-fashioned book reports, will serve as a resource to help libraries engage with their own constituents and to incorporate arts organizations and educational groups in creative programming. Writers will present their new work in a public reading at the culmination of the residency.

This project is indebted to the Library as Incubator Project for inspiration. The mission of the Library as Incubator Project is to promote and facilitate creative collaboration between libraries and artists of all types, and to advocate for libraries as incubators of the arts.

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