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Kao Kalia Yang | Author Public Speaker Teacher

Yang Warriors
A Map Into the World: WINNER the 2020 MN Book Award in Children’s Literature.

About Kao Kalia

Kao Kalia Yang is a Hmong American writer. She is a writer of memoir, children’s literature, a
librettist, public speaker and teacher. Her first book, The Latehomecomer: a Hmong Family
Memoir, was a National Endowment for the Arts Big Read title and remains the only Asian
American title adapted for the stage by Literature to Life. Her second memoir, The Song Poet: a
Memoir of my Father, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Chautauqua
Prize, the PEN USA literary awards, and the Dayton’s Literary Peace Prize. It was listed as
number 16 in Esquire Magazine’s “50 Best Biographies of All Time”. The Minnesota Opera
commissioned a libretto by Yang for an opera of the same name which had a sold out premier
run in 2023. Her collective refugee memoir, Somewhere in the Unknown World was one of
Kirkus Best Books of the Year. She also co-edited the ground-breaking collection What God is
Honored Here?: Writings on Miscarriage and Infant Loss By and For Native Women and
Women of Color. Her Children’s books, A Map Into the World, The Shared Room, The Most
Beautiful Thing, Yang Warriors, and From the Tops of the Trees, have received multiple starred
reviews and appeared in many end of year lists and as Notable Books by the American Library
Association. Yang received the American Library Association’s Asian/Pacific American Literary
Award for Children’s Literature, and four Minnesota Book Awards among many other awards
for her writing across genres. Yang is a recipient of the Sally Award for Social Impact from the
Ordway Center for Performing Arts and the A.P. Anderson Award for her significant
contributions to the cultural and artistic life of Minnesota. She is a Soros, McKnight, and
Guggenheim fellow.

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Bee Yang

Hmong song poetry | kwv txhiaj hmoob

Thaum Hluas Txog Hnub Laus: When the Days of Youth are Gone (Bee Yang, 2014)

This is an album of Hmong song poetry, kwv txhiaj hmoob, composed and sung by Bee Yang, Kao Kalia Yang’s father. The album notes and English translation of one of the songs are by Kao Kalia Yang.

Kwv txhiaj is, in the words of Ralph Ellison on the American Blues, “an impulse to keep the painful details and episodes of a brutal experience alive in one’s aching consciousness, to finger its jagged grain, and to transcend it, not by the consolation of philosophy but by squeezing from it a near-tragic, near-cosmic lyricism. As a form, the blues [and kwv txhiaj] is an autobiographical chronicle of personal catastrophe expressed lyrically.”

NOTE:  The duration of the songs do not reflect the actual song length.  Please consider ordering the CD for the full songs.  Thank you.

*This CD is available for purchase for $15.  Click below to order:


Bee Yang: Hmong Song Poetry