Release by PEN USA


Los Angeles, CA –  PEN USA; USC College of Letters, Arts & Sciences; and the USC Master of Professional Writing Program present Customs and Departures: An Evening with Thai-American Writers on Thursday, June 24, 2010, at 7:30PM. The event will take place at the University of Southern California, Mark Taper Hall, THH 102, 3501 Trousdale Parkway, Los Angeles, CA 90089.  Admission is free and open to the public.

Customs and Departures marks the first gathering of several of the nation’s most notable Thai-American writers, all of whom happen to come from different disciplines: young-adult novelist/TV writer Cherry Chevapravatdumrong, playwright/blogger Prince Gomolvilas, memoirist Ira Sukrungruang, and poet Pimone Triplett. The groundbreaking event will feature readings by the authors, followed by a Q&A session and a Thai food reception.

About the featured writers:

Cherry Chevapravatdumrong (also known as Cherry Cheva) is the author of two young-adult novels, She s So Money and Duplikate the film rights of the latter were recently bought by Fox 2000. She also co-authored, with Alex Borstein, It Takes a Village Idiot, and I Married One. She currently serves as a writer/producer on Family Guy. She lives in Los Angeles.

Prince Gomolvilas is playwright whose work includes Big Hunk o  Burnin  Love, The Theory of Everything, and the stage adaptation of the Scott Heim novel, Mysterious Skin, which will receive its Los Angeles premiere at East West Players in September 2010. He received the PEN Center USA Literary Award for Drama. He writes Bamboo Nation, an arts and entertainment blog, and he is a Lecturer in the Master of Professional Writing Program at the University of Southern California. He lives in Los Angeles.

Ira Sukrungruang is the author of the memoir, Talk Thai: The Adventures of Buddhist Boy. He co-edited, with Donna Jarrell, What Are You Looking At?: The First Fat Fiction Anthology and Scoot Over, Skinny: The Fat Nonfiction Anthology. He now edits The Clever Title and Sweet: A Literary Confection. He is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at the University of South Florida. He lives in Tampa.

Pimone Triplett is the author of three books of poems: Rumors, The Price of Light, and Ruining the Picture. She is also co-editor of the essay anthology, Poet s Work, Poet s Play. Her poems have appeared in many literary journals, including Poetry, Paris Review, Ploughshares, Agni, Yale Review, Triquarterly, and New England Review. Frequently appearing in anthologies, her work has been featured in Legitimate Dangers, Contemporary Voices from the East, and New American Poets: A Bread Loaf Anthology. She is an Associate Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Washington. She lives in Seattle.


Because Los Angeles is home to the largest Thai population outside of Thailand, there is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate Thai culture and traditions here, says Adam Somers, PEN USA Executive Director.  We are thrilled to be able to honor the Thai-American literary community with this event for the city of Los Angeles and for the Thai Americans who live here.

This event is funded in part by the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.

RSVP by e-mail: ; Or RSVP on Facebook:!/event.php?eid=127925283892213

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