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Kao Kalia Yang | Author Public Speaker Teacher


About Kao Kalia

Kao Kalia Yang, 2024 Bio

Kao Kalia Yang is a Hmong American teacher, speaker, and writer. Her work crosses audiences
and genres. She is the award-winning author of the memoirs, The Latehomecomer, The Song
Poet, Somewhere in the Unknown World, and Where Rivers Part. Yang co-edited the
groundbreaking book, What God is Honored Here?: Writings on Miscarriage and Infant Loss By
and For Native Women and Women of Color. She is a librettist for The Song Poet Opera
(commissioned by Minnesota Opera). Her children’s books, A Map Into the World, The Most
Beautiful Thing, The Shared Room, Yang Warriors, From the Tops of the Trees, The Rock in My
Throat, and Caged center Hmong children and families who live in our world, who dream, hurt,
and hope in it.
Yang’s work has been recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Book
Critics Circle Award, the Chautauqua Prize, the PEN USA literary awards, the Dayton’s Literary
Peace Prize, as Notable Books by the American Library Association, Kirkus Best Books of the
Year, the Heartland Bookseller’s Award, and garnered four Minnesota Book Awards. She was
awarded an honorary doctorate of humane letters from Carleton College.
Yang is McKnight, Soros, 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