About

Welcome to Bird of Passage!

Hi! I’m Nokyoung Xayasane. Welcome to Bird of Passage!

bird′ of pas′sage
n. pl. birds of passage

1. a bird that migrates seasonally, a migratory bird
2. a transient or migratory person, a transient person or one who roams about, a person who passes through or visits a place without staying for long
3. Birds of Passage, a breathtaking novel by Brian Castro

Nok
pronounced “nook”
n. origin: Lao, Thai

1. bird

What’s Bird of Passage all about?

Hi there, I’m a writer and poet who’s always looking for inspiration. I find it daily through poetry and music, which I love to share with all you lovely people.

Whether you’re new to poetry or you’ve had a long love affair with the medium, I hope you’ll enjoy this collection of poems I’ve come to cherish. And I also share my own work.

So a little bit about me … 

I’ve worked and volunteered in the publishing industry for some time. I have a lifestyle blog called Nok in the City where I write about my two other loves: food and culture. I was an Editor for Women’s Post, I’ve written for Twirlit and Clinical Study Connect, and I’ve edited recipes for Nibble Dish. I was also an Editor-in-Chief for a defunct literary magazine called The Boar. And I’m a proud member of the Professional Writers Association of Canada (PWAC), which is a group of supportive and inspirational writers.

I’m a graduate from the University of Waterloo with an Arts degree in English: Rhetoric and Professional Writing, and I’m a graduate from The University of Western Ontario with a degree in Health Sciences with a specialization in Biology.

Yeah I know, pretty different fields, but I think Art and Science complement each other perfectly and are more alike than we think. Like my man Vladimir Nabokov said, “the precision of the artist, the passion of the scientist.”

I’m published!

A collection of my poetry was published on December 2014 via Stone Garden Studios, a non-profit press. It’s my first published book and I’m really excited!

I’ve also been starting and stopping and starting a novel since I was 25. It’ll be a coming-of-age novel for young women, and it’ll be set in Canada, Thailand, and Laos.

In a way, it’s a way for me to understand who I am and where I come from, and it’s also a way for me to empathize and commiserate with other young folks who are trying to find their place in the world.

My parents are first-generation immigrants from Laos. Our background is Lao but I was born in Thailand in a refugee camp where I lived until I was five years old. My parents have some harrowing yet beautiful stories from their time in Laos and Thailand and our time in Canada. I find I incorporate their voices, their losses, their triumphants, their sorrows, their sense of disempowerment, and their joys into my own work. I think my writing, for the most part, is a love letter to my parents.

I’ve moved to a new locale

At last, I’ve made the big move to Toronto. It’s a joy to be surrounded by millions of people and new sights and sounds. And let’s not forget the endless supply of food and restaurants, which I happily talk about in Nok in the City. Perhaps I’ll understand what Dionne Brand discovered when she wrote Thirsty, a collection of poems about Toronto, Ontario. Maybe I’ll run into her at a coffeeshop or something. Or maybe I’ll gain fifty pounds. Only time will tell.

Stay for a while

Why not take a look at the poems I hold close to my heart and let me know your thoughts in the comments. If you’d like to reach me, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I’ve been told I’m a good listener.

I would like to give you the silver
branch, the small white flower, the one
word that will protect you
from the grief at the center
of your dream
Variation on the Word Sleep, Margaret Atwood

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