New Essay: Suffering Is Both a Barrier and a Bridge

Suffering Is Both a Barrier and a Bridge BY  KAO KALIA YANG (@KAOKALIAYANG), COLUMNIST One day my brother said his face felt heavy. His left eye started to water. He wiped away the liquid. He massaged his face. He went fishing with our cousins. When he got home, it was late. The sky was dark. The house […]

Writer’s Workshop: A Class for Writers of Color and Indigenous Writers

Writer’s Workshop: A Class for Writers of Color and Indigenous Writers In this class we will generate a piece of writing, edit that writing piece for emotional truth and clarity of language, and re-write that very same piece. Be prepared to share what you’ve written. Be prepared to receive what others have written, to give […]

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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:

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Bee Yang: Hmong Song Poetry

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