Souvankham Thammavongsa

Souvankham Thammavongsa was born in the Nong Khai refugee camp in Thailand in 1978 and grew up in Toronto, Ontario. Her writing has appeared in a number of literary journals. Her collection Found was made into a short film.

Poetry

Cluster

Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 2019
PS8589 .H3457 C58 2019

Publisher’s Synopsis (from its website)

Acclaimed poet Souvankham Thammavongsa returns with her fourth collection, a book about meaning. Meaning can sometimes blow up, crack something we had not seen, or darken what had been seen so clear to us. Meaning can happen with so little and go on to take so much from us. Meaning can sometimes take a long time to arrive, years even, if ever. And it’s possible meaning does not mean, and that in itself could be meaningful. Whatever happens to meaning, it is always there. It means even when you don’t want it. Every poem in this book looks at meaning and the ways in which it arrives, if at all.

Poetry (Chapbook)

A Firefly

Woodbridge, Ont.: S. Thammavongsa, 2002.

The eight poems in this self-published chapbook are reprinted in a slightly different format in Small Arguments.

Poetry

Found

Toronto: Pedlar Press, 2007.
PS8589 .H3457 F68 2007

Author’s Statement on Rear Cover

In 1978, my parents lived in building #48, Nong Khai, Thailand, a Lao refugee camp. My father kept a scrapbook filled with doodles, addresses, postage stamps, maps, measurements. He threw it out and when he did, I took it and found this.

Awards and Honours

2007 Alcuin Society Awards for Excellence in Book Design in Canada–Poetry category (2nd prize, designer: Zab Design & Typography)

Light book cover

Poetry

Light

St. John’s: Pedlar Press, 2013.
PS8589 .H3457 L54 2013

Awards and Honours

2014 Trillium Book Award for Poetry (finalist)

Poetry (Chapbook)

Residual

Victoria, B.C.: Greenboathouse Books, 2006.

Limited ed. of 100 numbered copies and 26 lettered copies.

Awards and Honours

2006 Alcuin Society Awards for Excellence in Book Design in Canada–Limited Editions category (Third place: designer: Jason Dewinetz)

Poetry

Small Arguments

Toronto, Ont.: Pedlar Press, 2003.
PS8589 .H3457 S63 2003

Publisher’s Synopsis (from its flier New in 2004)

The language of Small Arguments is simple yet there is nothing simple in its ideas. The work touches on the structures of argument, orchestrating material around repetition, variation and contrast. Thammavongsa’s approach is like that of a scientist/philosopher, delicately probing material for meaning and understanding. The poet collects small lives, and argues for a larger belonging: a grain of dirt, a crushed cockroach, the eyes of a dead dragonfly. It is a work that suggests we can create with what we know and with that alone.

Awards and Honours

2004 ReLit Award–Poetry (Winner)
2003 Alcuin Society Award for Excellence in Book Design in Canada–Poetry category (2nd Prize); Designer: Zab Design & Typography

Drama (Chapbook)

The Weed Woman

Toronto, Ont.: Junction Books, 2001.

Published in an edition of 75 copies.

Anthology (Short story)

“Mani Pedi” was first published in The Puritan. It was longlisted for the 2016 awarding of The Journey Prize. It appeared in volume 28 of  The Journey Prize: Stories: The Best of Canada’s New Writers (Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 2016).
PS8329.J68

Anthology (Short story)

“Paris” was first published in Ricepaper. It was longlisted for the 2016 awarding of The Journey Prize. It appeared in volume 28 of The Journey Prize: Stories: The Best of Canada’s New Writers (Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 2016).
PS8329.J68

Links

Publisher Pedlar Press

Publisher Greenboathouse Books

Publisher McClelland & Stewart, an imprint of Penguin Random House Canada