Books in the Barn: Sun Yung Shin

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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:

“Drop everything! Sun Yung Shin’s new book has arrived!”
— Gabrielle Civil

“Sun Yung Shin is an enchantress … Her spellbound language takes us through the hypnotic collaborative corridor between her sequential text and Jinny Yu drawings and profoundly translates its gender muteness into ‘bark, seed, root, horn, organ, petal, oil, tea, tincture,’ obedient materials of healing and transformation.”
— Vi Khi Nao

The Wet Hex is a brilliant achievement seeking liberation for girls, women, orphans, and castaways … Once again, she proves that she is a poet ahead of the curve, an intellectual and innovative wonder. This is one of my favorite poets. This is the most powerful book of poems I’ve read in years.”
— Lee Herrick

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.

NOTICE: All patrons must provide proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test at the door prior to the event. Phone photos of vaccination cards will be accepted. 

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.

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