Thursday, March 16, 2006

Vestibulary, Sun Yung Shin

2nd in the WinteRed series, Sun Yung Shin's Vestibulary uses the Korean alphabet to explore a "dictionary of myth" in haunting lyrics:


Vocal folds open. A passage of air
through the pharynx. Puff of white.

The sound of heat, her, heart. A sparrow hops
over a leaf on a boulder. We are busy bowing to
brides & broken headstones.


"Historical accuracy"

A woman does an unseemly grave dance, a
bareheaded coutesan, her flash of white neck
through the cemetary gates. She remembers a
schoolgirl on seesa, mid-air, her betrothed,
grounded. "Brings [history] alive."

SUN YUNG SHIN's first poetry collection, Skirt Full of Black, will be published by Coffee House Press ( in the spring of 2007. Her co-edited book Outsiders Within: Racial Crossings and Adoption Politics is forthcoming from South End Press in 2006. Shin is also the author of Cooper's Lesson, a bilingual Korean/English illustrated book for children. She teaches English at the Perpich Center for Arts Education and at The College of St. Catherine, both in Minneapolis, MN.

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