Kosal Khiev

1980                                   Born March 2 in Thailand

1981                                   Family fled Cambodia as refugees toUSA

1996-2010                         Incarcerated in US Prison system

2011                                   Deported to Cambodia


2004 -2006                        Closeline Community College (USA); Studied Sociology & American history
1998                                  Graduated from Riverside Unified District (Riverside California/USA)

Work Experience

Sept 2011 –                       Selected as Studio Revolt’s first Artist-in-Residence. Works collaboratively with the independent Phnom Penh  based media lab to produced  new spoken word videos. Studio Revolt also provides resident artists with practical skills to sustain a professional artistic practice.

Nov 2011 –                        Teaching artist with A New Day Cambodia. Kosal Khiev started a new creative writing/spokenword workshop with Cambodian youth. The workshop helps youth to explore the power of telling their own stories through the use of the language, metaphors, and their own imagination.

2011 – 2012                       Projectionist at Legends Cinema City Mall

2005 – 2009                       Facilitator of The Prison Peace Project. Arts-in-correction (Norco, California)

2006 – 2009                       Vision’s Project: Motivational outreach speaker for at risk youth


Aug 3, 2013                        TEDxKL 2013 Featured Speaker

                                            Theme: Life Hacking. Tedx Malaysia, feature poet (Kuala Lumpur)

June 20, 2013                    Performance of “Spoken Words”, Downtown Café (Paris)

April 26, 2013                    Community concert “Generation Return: Version 1.5”, Project Reach Chinatown (New York City)

April 16, 2013                    The New School Exhibition “Cambodia: Drop by Drop You Will Feel” curated by Fiona Mahurin, (New York City)

December, 18-21, 2012     Winner of “Best Poetry Performance on Film” in Zebra Poetry Film Festival, First Place Award(Berlin)

Nov 26, 2012                      Video “Why I Write” for the exhibition ON PINS AND NEEDLES curated by Jef Carnay, feature poet (Cambodia)

April 2, 2012                       Champions of Change, too feature poet and awardee (Phnom Penh)

Mar 23, 2012                      Equinox feature poet with Durian band  (Phnom Penh)

Feb 24, 2012                      TIGER TRANSLATE II “Metropolis” urban arts event, feature poet.  (Phnom Penh)

Jan 26, 2012                       “Break the Silence” feature poet.Webcast performance (Long Beach, CA – USA)

Jan 22, 2012                       Lunar New Year’s event host at The Cotton (Phnom Penh)

Dec 14, 2012                      “Open Cities” Live Performance with London-based David Gunn (Phnom Penh)

Dec 31, 2011                       New Year’s Eve event host at Riverside Lounge (Phnom Penh)

Nov 2011                             “Why I Write” (directed by Masahiro Sugano) spoken word video debut

Nov 2011                             Feature cast member in “My Asian Americana” (directed by Anida Yoeu Ali)

Oct. 8, 2011                        Feature poet with BODY: Poetry Series & Open-Mic @Java Cafe (Phnom Penh)

Oct. 15, 2011                       Feature performer/speaker at Tedx Phnom Penh 2011

Aug 2011                             Mao’s opening performance for Klap Ya Handz record label

Aug 2011                             Event host “Fast Fever” event @City Mall/Legends Theater

July  2011                            N.E.R.D. Night featured speaker @Score (Phnom Penh)

July 2011                             Visiting Lecturer, US Law & Juvenile Justice System (Royal Univer. of PP)


July 19, 2013                      Khmerconnection “Spotlight: Kosal Khiev the Cambodian Poet”

July 12, 2013                      Sampsonia Way “The Art of the Spoken Word”

June 25, 2013                     Chased Magazine “People: Spoken Word Artist Kosal Khiev”

June 14, 2013                     Zeit Online “Gefängniszelle statt Elfenbeinturm (Prison cell, not an ivory tower)”

April 19, 2013                     Word Forward “Spoken Kosal-A Sharing Session with Kosal Khiev”

Feb 2013                            WUPP MAGAZINE Cover and Article “Words through the walls”

Jan 8, 2013                         IBJ Human Rights Day “Cambodian Art & Culture in Pursat Prison”

Nov 16, 2012                      Phnom Penh Noir Interviews “7 questions with Kosal Khiev”

Oct 3, 2012                         Pozible “The team is raising money to bringing arts and culture to Cambodia’s prisons on Pozible”

June 12, 2012                    Phnom Penh Post “Released poet faces uncertain schedule in UK”

April 18, 2012                     Phnom Penh Post “Kosal Khiev selected to represent Cambodia at London Poetry Parnassus”

April 17, 2012                     Khmerican  “Kosal Khiev to represent Cambodia as Cultural Olympiad in London 2012”

April 17, 2012                     BBC News Media  “London 2012: Worldwide poets still needed for Festival event”

Mar 2012                            94.1Kpfa APEX radio interview with Marie Choi

Feb 2012                            Read “Alternative forms of religion and development”  interview with Jennifer Cimaglia

Feb 2012                            Free Speech Radio Network interview with Dorian Merino

Feb 2012                            The Associated Press interview with journalist Rory Byrne

Jan 2012                            Read “From Prison to Poet” in AsiaLife Guide (Issue#61)

Jan 13, 2012                     “Khmer Ex-con Turns Over New Leaf…” Phnom Penh Post (7 Days)

Jan 11, 2012                      90.0 FM PUC Radio Talk Show w/Princess Soma Norodom (1hr 23min broadcast)

Dec 29, 2011                     101.5 FM Radio Australia’s connect Asia Program



  1. Jeoni thao
    April 3, 2012

    One love to you….I have much respect from the bottom of my heart. “Just waiting on the world to Change.” -John Mayer

  2. Lilledeshan bose
    May 16, 2012

    Hi! I’ve been looking you up and found your story incredibly powerful. I’d love to feature your for KCET’s Artbound. (Here’s a link to my writer profile: http://www.kcet.org/arts/artbound/columnists/lilledeshan-bose/) Can you Skype? Are you free this weekend to talk? Would you want to talk? Let me know.


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