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Demonstra: A Poetry Collection

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4.62  ·  Rating details ·  34 ratings  ·  9 reviews
In the depths, half-hidden under still waters, await strange and vicious creatures .... Cthulhu, Godzilla and nagas mingle in Demonstra, a speculative poem collection which assembles 20 years of work by Bryan Thao Worra. Demonstra is a book of things glimpsed out of the corner of the eye. It is about a reality that can never fully be demonstrated, authenticated, dissected, ...more
Paperback, 170 pages
Published December 2nd 2013 by Innsmouth Free Press
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Ann Schwader
Nov 12, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
This is one of the most remarkable – and, at times, the most frustrating – speculative poetry collections I’ve read in a long time.

Bryan Thao Worra’s Laotian-American view of the Lovecraft Mythos, Japanese monster movies, American pop culture in general, and the mythologies of several other cultures makes for a heady reading experience. The poems themselves (mostly free verse) are well-crafted and diverse, with a few more mainstream offerings among the speculative ones. The poet’s voice is sure
...more
Kristine Muslim
Jan 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-blurbed
Demonstra is borne of the extraordinary imagination of Bryan Thao Worra, who draws inspiration from the Cthulhu Mythos, the Laotian pantheon of ghosts and monsters, and the horrors of the modern world, among other things. Something sinister and enchanting beckons out from every poem. There’s the enthralling journey across the dream highway of Ms. Manivongsa. There’s the poignant meditation on Egyptian iconography as a harbinger of death. And there’s the paean to Mothra. Demonstra is absolutely e ...more
Jennifer
It was a bit intimidating, getting a few poems into the collection and realizing how many of the references to Laotian folklore I didn't get at first. But Bryan Thao Worra is a clever guy: he includes a glossary in the back that explains some of the creatures who appear in the book, and he mixes nyaks and phi and kinally with kaiju and Elder Gods. It's a heady mix.

There are so many images and lines and poems that moved me. Like this stanza from "Silosoth's Secret Roads to Himapan."

If you take th
...more
Maria Mitchell
Dec 19, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book has a blend of sci-fi, horror and humor. Some standout poems were Laonomicon, The Robo Sutra, Digging for Corpse Oil and Wendigo Blues.
T.D. Walker
Nov 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of the reasons readers seek out poetry is that the genre offers a way of looking at the world that can be more expansive than, say, the essay or the short story. Lines break like worlds just out of view, and language calls us back to linger on what was just said or not said. This is the power of the work in Bryan Thao Worra's Demonstra, a collection of poems that reference, among others, figures of Lao myth, Grendel's mother, kaiju, and Lovecraft, and which ask us to consider whether these r ...more
Marj
Nov 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: creepy, mythology, poetry
This was a fascinating collection of speculative poetry steeped in mythology and Laotian culture. I learned a bit, was inspired to research some and was overall delighted by his clever writing.

I do with there were footnotes or ready translations, but this was mitigated when I saw found the appendices including a bestiary and recommended additional reading.
K.H. Vaughan
Feb 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
It took exactly seven lines for me to decide I was onto something special with this new release from Innsmouth Free Press. This book is just that good. In Demonstra, Bryan Thao Worra presents an unusual collection of speculative poetry, filled with references to popular horror tropes, traditional Laotian folklore, and Buddhist musings in striking and unexpected combinations. Within, the classic monsters from Universal Pictures and Creature Double Feature rub elbows with Laotian Phi, Rakshasas, a ...more
Walk-Minh Allen
Jan 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
To anyone starting to read Worra's newest collection of poetry, I'd like to give one big hint: Read "Appendix A: A Lao American Bestiary" toward the back of the book first. That way, you can familiarize yourself with the names and characteristics of the mythological beasts and creepy spirits who inhabit this book's poems. It should provide you with a clearer vantage point with which to navigate the labrynthine structure of his poetry.

However, and you'll see for yourself, although the poems are s
...more
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Bryan Thao Worra is the first Laotian American writer to hold a Fellowship in Literature from the National Endowment for the Arts. He is the award-winning author of several books including DEMONSTRA, On The Other Side Of The Eye, BARROW, Winter Ink, Tanon Sai Jai, Touching Detonations, and The Tuk-Tuk Diaries: My Dinner With Cluster Bombs.

He is the creative works editor for the Journal of Southeas
...more

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