CALAA thrives from the creative expression of the multigenerational Cambodian community in Lowell and beyond. One of the primary ways we do this is by conducting various workshops centered around our mission of community building through literary arts. Below are some of our pervious CALAA workshops!

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May 5, 2019, Lowell, MA: Create Your Own Genealogy Story or Krous'ssa Ka'nyoum (My Family)

CALAA’s “Create Your Own Genealogy Story” workshop was an outlet to introduce CALAA and The Stilt House (TSH) Zine to the broader community of Lowell, and encourage them to submit their creative works to our upcoming TSH issue “Genealogy Stories: “Krous’saa Ka’nyoum”. We aimed to create a safe space for community members to enjoy coffee and doughnuts and share their experiences of Cambodian American family life. The event was facilitated by Board members Sovicheth Boun and Lena Sarunn, and CALAA Volunteer Brad DeMatteo.


Participants shared and discussed family stories and experiences and the meaning of Cambodian “genealogy”

Free-writing / brainstorming workshop in which participants developed their family stories into ideas for creative expression

Photo: Jacob Potter

Photo: Jacob Potter

April 27, 2019, NY, NY: Herstories and Healing: A Khmer Culinary and Literary Workshop

This hybrid writing and culinary workshop took its cue from the flavors and healing herstory of Khmer cuisine. Taking into account the sensations on their tongues as they tasted Khmer foods, participants reimagined traditional flavors in the scope of contemporary diasporic experience through reflexive poetry. This workshop was run by Chef Chakriya Un of Kreung Cambodia and poet Sokunthary Svay author of Apsara in New York


Poetry and Khmer food in memory of Mak’s Kitchen

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April 11, 2018, Lowell, MA: Fun Stuff Workshops

This multifaceted event featured Khmer poetry workshop led by scholar and celebrated poet Tararith Kho, a storytelling and folktales workshop (for ages 2+) led by award-winning poet Peuo Tuy, Mana Kheang, Nay Yen, and summing up with a poetry reading & conversation with Sokunthary Svay, author of the poetry collection Apsara In New York (2017).


Khmer Poetry Workshop: Introduction to Khmer poetry

Storytelling and Folktales Workshop: Participants wrote their own Khmer folktale story and presented writing to group

Poetry Reading & Conversation: Reading and conversation by award-winning poet Sokunthary Svay, author of Apsara In New York (2017)



July 29, 2017, Lowell, MA: Where We Come From

This event featured three creative writing workshops focused upon cultural heritage––Khmer/Cambodian or other––and its relation to personal identity. Workshop instructors included CALAA founders Tararith Kho, Sokunthary Svay, and Peuo Tuy.