The Wet Hex By Sun Yung Shin in conversation with Chavonn Williams Shen
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The Wet Hex
Sun Yung Shin calls her readers into the unknown now-future of the human species, an underworld museum of births, deaths, evolutions, and extinctions.
Personal and environmental violations form the backdrop against which Sun Yung Shin examines questions of grievability, violence, and responsibility in The Wet Hex. Incorporating sources such as her own archival immigration documents, Ovid's Metamorphoses, Christopher Columbus's journals, and traditional Korean burial rituals, Shin explores the ways that lives are weighed and bartered. Smashing the hierarchies of god and humanity, heaven and hell, in favor of indigenous Korean shamanism and animism, The Wet Hex layers an apocalyptic revision of nineteenth-century imagery of the sublime over the present, conjuring a reality at once beautiful and terrible.
About The Author:
신 선 영 Sun Yung Shin was born in Seoul, Korea and was raised in the Chicago area. She is a poet, writer, and cultural worker. She is the editor of What We Hunger For: Refugee and Immigrant Stories on Food and Family (2021) and of A Good Time for the Truth: Race in Minnesota, author of poetry collections The Wet Hex; Unbearable Splendor (finalist for the 2017 PEN USA Literary Award for Poetry, winner of the 2016 Minnesota Book Award for poetry); Rough, and Savage; and Skirt Full of Black (winner of the 2007 Asian American Literary Award for poetry), co-editor of Outsiders Within: Writing on Transracial Adoption, and author of bilingual illustrated book for children Cooper’s Lesson. Sun Yung is a fiscal year 2022 recipient of a Creative Support for Individuals grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund. She lives in Minneapolis where she co-directs the community organization Poetry Asylum with poet Su Hwang.
In conversation with:
Chavonn Williams Shen is a 2022 McKnight Writing fellow and was a first runner-up for The Los Angeles Review Flash Fiction Contest. She was also a Best of the Net Award finalist, a Pushcart Prize nominee, a winner of the Loft Literary Center's Mentor Series and a fellow with the Givens Foundation for African American Literature. A Tin House and VONA workshop alum, her writing has appeared in: Diode, Anomaly, Yemassee, Cosmonauts Avenue, and others. When she's not teaching with the Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop, she can be found at home obsessing over her plants.