I was selected to be a part of the Festival of the World at Southbank Centre during the 2012 Olympics in London, as the national delegate representing Laos.

My poem “No Regrets,” has been placed on display in the outdoor spaces around the Royal Festival Hall and the Queen Elizabeth Hall until September if anyone happens to be in the area. As part of the program, my poetry will be included in the World Record Anthology being published for the occasion, and read on BBC Radio this month. California poet Kay Ryan is representing the US. Other poets include Kosal Khiev, who a Cambodian refugee deported by the US who is currently rebuilding his life, who was selected to represent Cambodia. Thailand is represented by the award-winning poet Chiranan Pitpreecha, while Vietnam’s poets are represented by Nguyen Bao Chan. The organizers selected poets from over 6,000 nominations around the world to pick one poet from each of the 204 countries participating in the Olympics.

I’m including my poem here, as it’s deeply inspired by the work of Asian American librarians and writers who continually work to connect us to both our pasts and our futures. Cheers,

Bryan Thao Worra
Hemet, CA

No Regrets

Maybe one day,
A page will be found,
A song will be heard,
A stroke will be drawn
Filled with explanations.

Maybe one day,
The nuckawi and silapin, beautiful as a field of khao mai
Will be vindicated.

A family will start.

A child will learn the names of a stranger who believed in them
Before they even met.

Maybe one day,
A heart will remember a brother, a sister, a crime, a moment of love,
A chronicle of a city, a haiku from Japan.
A teacher.
A friend on the other side of your eye.

Until then, what is certain?
Night arrives, then day. The moon, the sun, the rain and waves.
A few other things, maybe something someone will write down.
Maybe not.

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