Ordinary Misfortunes by Emily Jungmin Yoon

Ordinary Misfortunes by Emily Jungmin Yoon

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Poetry

Korea continues to grapple with the shared memory of its Japanese and US occupations. The poems in ORDINARY MISFORTUNES incorporate actual testimony about cruelty against vulnerable bodies--including the wianbu, euphemistically known as "comfort women"--as the poet seeks to find places where brutality is overcome through true human connections. Emily Jungmin Yoon asks, Why do we write poems amid such violence? What can I, and what can poetry, do? Her response to those tough questions is a sequence of reverberating poems that blend documentary precision with impassioned witness, bringing to bear both scholarship and artistry.

Emily Jungmin Yoon is the author of A Cruelty Special to Our Species (Ecco Books, September 2018) and Ordinary Misfortunes (Tupelo Press, July 2017), winner of the Sunken Garden Chapbook Prize. Her poems and translations have appeared in The New Yorker, New York Times Magazine, Poetry, and elsewhere. She has received awards and fellowships from the Poetry Foundation, Ploughshares’ Emerging Writer’s Contest, AWP’s WC&C Scholarship Competition, The Home School in Miami, the Aspen Institute, New York University, the University of Chicago, Money for Women/Barbara Deming Memorial Fund, and Sarah Lawrence College Summer Seminar for Writers. She is the Poetry Editor for The Margins, the literary magazine of the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, and a PhD student in Korean literature at the University of Chicago.