Books in the Barn: Sun Yung Shin

The Anderson Center is proud to present Minnesota writer Sun Yung Shin in the Tower View Barn on Friday, October 28, 2022 at 7:00 p.m. for a public reading as part of the Books in the Barn series. General Admission tickets are $10 for the public and $5 for Anderson Center members and youth under 18.

신 선 영 Sun Yung Shin (SON-young 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 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. She lives in Minneapolis where she co-directs the community organization Poetry Asylum with poet Su Hwang.

Sun Yung will be presenting and reading from her newest book, The Wet Hex (Coffee House Press, 2022). 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, Sun Yung 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.

Praise for The Wet Hex by Sun Yung Shin:

“Revelatory. . . . Formally inventive. . . . These poems also project us into the future, using the past as a resource to create materials for survival.” —Elizabeth Hoover, Star Tribune

“Enthralling and fantastical. . . . [Shin] begs us to consider what equality looks like for all living things and how that might include the dead, engaging the spiritual, the mythical, and the animal world. While reaching into a variety of realms, from shamanism and funerary rites to the climate crisis and the inheritance of language, Shin’s writing is tight and seamless.” —Katya Buresh, BOMB Magazine

“There are many marvels to unpack in The Wet Hex. . . . Shin’s lines glimmer and pop as they scrutinize the passage of time and the importance of legacy.” —Diego Báez, Poetry Foundation

Books in the Barn is a two-part reading series that offers a wide-ranging look at the work of contemporary writers. Books will be available for purchase and signing following each reading. Featured authors are also participating in outreach events in the Red Wing community, providing further opportunities to share their work with a broader audience.

Logos for the Clean Water, Land, & Legacy Amendment and the Minnesota State Arts BoardThis activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board and the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

ASL interpretation is available upon request. To request interpretation, please contact Stephanie at or 651-388-2009 at least two weeks prior to the event.


Oct 28 2022


7:00 pm - 8:30 pm


Tower View Barn
Tower View Barn
163 Tower View Drive, Red Wing, MN