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Writers’ Block Live: Alyssa Matuchniak, Vilayvanh Bender, and Krysada Phoun...

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1888 Center

115 North Orange Street

Orange, California 92866

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Writers’ Block Live! with Alyssa Matuchniak, Vilayvanh Bender, and Krysada Phounsiri. This reading series aims to highlight and discuss writers across various genres and fields.

Alyssa Matuchniak is a Southern Californian emerging on the poetry scene. A second-generation biracial American—the daughter of an Indian mother and an English-Polish father—she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Literature and Creative Writing from UC Santa Cruz and a Master of Arts in Teaching from UC Irvine. She currently works as a secondary English teacher, and dreams of becoming that “kind of weird but cool” teacher you hear about in stories. She is the author of the debut poetry book Small Wars, Little Revolutions (World Stage Press, 2018), and her poems have previously been published in Black Napkin Press.

Vilayvanh Bender immigrated to America at the age of seven as a Vietnam War refugee, along with her family. Without knowing the language, her first goal in the United States was to become fluent in English. She believes in the importance of cultural preservation and acceptance. Vilayvanh enjoys volunteering at her daughters’ school and sharing her Lao culture with students through stories, activities and play which have ultimately became the inspiration for her first children’s book. Vilayvanh lives in Corona, California with her husband and two daughters. She is a private practice Registered Dietitian working with children and families. Vilayvanh is passionate about the health and wellness of all children. You will find her outdoors in her spare time, gardening, walking or playing tennis. Sharing dishes and trying new foods are two of her favorite things. Most of all, she enjoys laughing and making memories with her family.

Krysada Phounsiri is a professional dancer, an award winning poet, and an avid photographer. He immigrated to the U.S. at the age of two from the country of Laos. Krysada is a San Diego based artist who began writing poetry at age 11, but fell in love with poetry when he attended UC Berkeley. He is a Physics/Astrophysics double major, with a minor in Creative Writing. Dancing for 15 years, his resume includes various competition wins around the globe, performing a year long stint in Las Vegas, dancing / choreographing on movie sets, and other numerous creative projects. His work has appeared previously in publications such as the Journal of Southeast Asian American Education and Advancement and the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center’s national photo project “A Day In the Life of Asian America”. His recent series "Beauty Beyond Scars" is featured in various blogs/content sites including The Getty and The Phoblographer. He debuted his first book of poetry in April 2015, titled "Dance Among Elephants". The book is a poetic journey of identity, family, homeland, love, and dance.


Writers’ Block is a bi-weekly podcast that highlights the work of writers, poets, scientists, musicians, and more to find the story behind the pieces. Host Mike Gravagno digs into his guests work the same way he digs into pie, voraciously and without pretension, because you don’t have to be high-falutin to enjoy talking about art. Writers’ Block is a joint venture from YourPopFilter.com and Anastamos, Chapman University’s Interdisciplinary Graduate Journal, and is available wherever you get your podcasts.

Ticket sales support the 1888 Center Podcast.
With your ticket, receive a 10% discount at the 1888 Bookshop on the day of the event.

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1888 Center

115 North Orange Street

Orange, California 92866

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