Lao poet Dara Kanlaya, better known for her pen name
Douangchampa, has won the ASEAN Sunthorn Phu Award 2013 in Thailand,
according to the Lao News Agency KPL.
Dara is a
high-profile author, having produced some 60 short stories, over 90
poems, seven novels, and a two-hour play, “Boua Deng”, selected by the
Lao Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism. She was the first Lao
poet honoured with this award.
The awarding ceremony
was held at the Thai National Culture Hall in Bangkok on June 26,
drawing poets from ten ASEAN member countries.
73, a poet with national outstanding performances in various fields in
poetry and writing, had received the SEA Write Award in 2010 and the
National Artist in the Literature Category. The Sunthorn Phu Award was
organised by the Ministry of Culture of Thailand , entitled to the
Thai first-class poet Sunthorn Phu.
Sunthorn Phu was
recognised as an Important Person of the World by UNESCO, on the
occasion of 200th anniversary of his birthday (1786-1986). The ASEAN
Sunthorn Phu Award is issued to promote and exalt talented poets from
ASEAN member countries. Dara Kanlaya or Douangchampa is a poet who has
had great acknowledgments within the Lao society for 50 years.
She had been a pioneer of Lao Palm Leaf Manuscripts Protection Project
from 1988 to 2004 and for National Reading Promotion Project since 1992.
Dara’s writing theme mostly deals with women’s issues
and gender, promoting a better living standard for women through
education. She also works as curator of old palm-leaf manuscripts, and
studies classic Lao literature.-VNA