Sunday, September 21, 2008


Souvankham Thammavongsa for DESK SPACE

DESK SPACE Who (a witty one-liner or a bio)?

SOUVANKHAM THAMMAVONGSA Souvankham Thammavongsa is the author of two poetry books from Pedlar Press, Small Arguments (2003) and Found (2007).

DS When did you start writing (publish your first book, or when are you publishing your next)?

ST I first started writing when I learned how to spell my name correctly.

At 11, I published a short story about abuse and violence titled "Penny." I used the real names of my teachers because their names were easy to spell but my teacher thought this was a "confession" and reported it to the Principal who called social workers.

I thought it was funny and I loved that everyone was reading my short story.

In 2003, my first book was published by Pedlar Press. The poems in it were published as a series of chapbooks I printed and bound and sold out of my knapsack for five years.

I'm not sure when I'm going to publish my next. I just want to watch television right now.

DS Where do you write (at your desk/outside/in bed)?

ST I write in the corner of my house.

Why do you work where you do (at you desk because it is a quiet space/outside b/c it helps you think or in the park b/c you can smoke, etc)?

I write where I do because it's clean. There is no distraction or intimidation. Or room for anyone else. It’s just a corner. It makes me feel like I’m in trouble and I’ve been sent away. My job there is to prove I’m good enough to come back.

DS What are you working on now?

ST I’m working collaboratively with Kat Burns. She’s taking some of my poems and putting them on film for Nuit Blanche. I’m also working with Paramita Nath who is turning Found into a five-minute film for Bravo.

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