transform="translate(188.000000, 15.000000)"

P.D. Soros Fellowship for New Americans

Share 0

Kao Kalia Yang, 2003

MFA, Columbia University

Kao Kalia Yang is an immigrant from Thailand

Fellowship awarded to support work towards an MFA in Creative Writing at Columbia University

Kao was born in the Ban Vinai Refugee Camp in Thailand, where her family had fled to escape the ethnic cleansing of the Hmong, a preliterate highland tribal people who fought with the American soldiers during the Vietnam War. After six years in the refugee camp, the family moved to St. Paul, Minnesota, where they have lived since.

As an undergraduate at Carleton College, Kao majored in American studies, with minors in cross-cultural and women and gender studies. Kao received her master's of fine arts in creative nonfiction writing at Columbia University in 2005.

Kao received the Page Foundation awards for excellence three years in succession, the Gilman Scholarship for International Study, the Freeman in Asia Scholarship for international study in Asia, and a Dean Fellowship from Columbia University. Previously, Kao taught a Columbia University-sponsored workshop for writers of color. Hmong Movement has published a piece of her writing "Dreaming in Time. Paj Ntaub Voice," and her poem titled "Mai. In the Shower" was published recently as well.

Kao has taught as an adjunct professor of writing at Concordia University and now runs a writing agency called Words Wanted in Minneapolis. Recently, she served on the Minnesota State Arts Board on a judging panel for prose in for the 2012-2013 academic year. She is enrolled in the Shannon Leadership Institute and finished her interim as "Artist-in-Residence" at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

Kao lives in Minnesota with her husband and has recently completed her second book, due to be published in 2013. Selected as a "Minnesota Original" by public radio, she is interviewed and reads at http://www.mnoriginal.org/episode/mn-original-show-104/kao-kalia-yang/
 

Education
  • MFA Creative Writing | Columbia University 2005
  • BA American Studies | Carleton College 2003
Work History
  • Author, Activist & Professor
Related Articles
12.18.17

LA Times: Kao Kalia Yang's "Song Poet" Is One Of Viet Thanh Nguyen's Two Favorite Reads Of 2017

Pulitizer Prize winning author Viet Thanh Nguyen selected his two favorite reads of 2017 for The Los Angeles Times. In addition to "The Sellout" by Paul Beatty, Viet selected 2004 Paul & Daisy Soros Fellow Kao Kalia Yang's "The Song Poet." Learn...

Read More
09.12.16

2016-2017 Edition: The New American

The New American features stories about Paul & Daisy Soros Fellows making an impact across sectors and across the country. Read about immigrants and children of immigrants and how they are giving back to the United States.

Read More
03.16.16

Kao Kalia Yang (2003 Fellow) Chronicles Her Father’s Life From Laos to Minnesota in "The Song Poet"

Kao Kalia Yang's (2003 Fellow) forthcoming book, "The Song Poet," chronicles her father's life from Laos, to Thailand, to the United States. Kalia's father, as a song poet, was responsible for documenting the life and times of his community when he...

Read More