Refugee Food Festival, San Francisco Starts Tomorrow, June 19

In honor of World Refugee Day on 20 June (Ironically, the same day a judge will hear the case of the U.S. Dept of Justice against the State of California), this week (Tuesday, 19 June through Saturday, 23 June) San Francisco hosts the Refugee Food Festival.

Selected San Francisco restaurants will open their kitchens to refugee chefs.

  • Tuesday, 19 June: Cuisine from Myanmar prepared by Pa Wah at the Hog Island Oyster Company in the Ferry Building
  • Wednesday, 20 June: Cuisine from Iraq prepared by Muna Anaee at Tawla
  • Thursday, 21 June: Cuisine from Bhutan prepared by Anu Mapchan at DOSA
  • Friday, 22 June: Cuisine from Iraq (Part 2) prepared by Muna Anaee at Son’s Addition
  • Saturday, 23 June: Cuisine from Senegal prepared by Vito at Jardiniere

For more information: refugeefoodfestival.com

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Poetry Monday: U Sam Oeur Again

from Exodus

— translated from the Cambodian by Ken McCullough

Once the Blackcrows had usurped the power
they started to evacuate people from Phnom Penh
they threw patients through hospital windows
(women in labor and the lame), drove tanks
over them then bulldozed them under.

The poem Exodus is part of the collection Sacred Vows, a bilingual edition of U Sam Ouer’s poetry, published by Coffee House Press.

This is self’s companion reading to Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried, O’Brien’s stories about his experiences as a grunt during the Vietnam War.

O’Brien and U Sam Oeur, in Southeast Asia at roughly the same time, each oblivious of the other. But afterward, what great literature they both produced.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Story-in-Progress: “Feint” (Dystopia)

I was not born with this sense of foreboding, just as my parents weren’t born with a sense of despair.

2nd Sentence of the Day: “The Ghost Soldiers”

Self’s only quibble, three pages in, is that she wishes they had dropped the word ‘The’ in front of ‘Ghost Soldiers.’

But, she can feel it in her bones: this will be a good story. When O’Brien is firing on all cylinders, he is never ‘just ‘good,’ he is great.

“So when I got shot the second time, in the butt, along the Song Tra Bong, it took the son of a bitch almost ten minutes to work up the nerve to crawl over me.”

Whereas the previous medic came “every so often, maybe four times altogether” to check on the narrator — in the middle of “a wild fight.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Sentence of the Day: “Speaking of Courage”

The lake lay flat and silvery against the sun.

Poetry Sunday: U Sam Oeur

from The Fall of Culture

— translated from the Cambodian by Ken McCullough

I hid the precious wealth,
packed the suitcases with milled rice,
packed old clothes, a small scrap-metal oven,
pots, pans, plates, spoons, an ax, a hoe,
some preserved fish in small plastic containers —
loaded it all in a cart and towed it eastward
under the full moon, May ’75.

Born in the Svey Rieng province of Cambodia, U Sam Oeur received his MFA from the Iowa Writer’s Workshop in 1968. Upon returning to Cambodia, he was elected to the National Assembly in 1972 and in 1973 was appointed Secretary General of the Khmer League for Freedom. He remained there after Cambodia was “liberated” by the Vietnamese.

The Fall of Culture is part of a bilingual Khmer and English edition of U Sam Oeur’s poetry, Sacred Vows (Coffee House Press)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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