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Skirt Full of Black

4.48 of 5 stars 4.48  ·  rating details  ·  52 ratings  ·  8 reviews
“Shin’s poetry is a grand orchestration of the cacophonic events and voices in an immigrant woman’s life. Marked by a keen political consciousness, an imagination as wicked as it is generous, and an erotic, physical sense of language both remembered and forgotten, these poems are at once social critique and personal intimation, worth revisiting again and again.”—Jane Jeong ...more
Paperback, 110 pages
Published April 1st 2007 by Coffee House Press
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Oy, why did I leave this book on my shelf for three weeks?

Bad me!
Bryan Worra
May 25, 2007 Bryan Worra rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Asian American, Transcultural Adoptees
Easily an early contender for the 2007 Asian American Literary Award.
ok I admit Jim Morrison is my favorite poet and I haven't read anything since like it until I read this book. being a poet too myself i know it is possible to write poetry that you read the next day and don't understand exactly the meaning but the words are right. make sense? I didn't understand everything Sun Yung Shin wrote [and maybe she doesn't either], but there were some poems that I thought the Lizard King was back amongst us writing his shamanistic magic words for us to see. That is abou ...more
Though at first a bit intimidating with its scattered, and sometimes barely cohesive, fragments, the book quickly takes footing in a swirl of identities--national, gender, and historical. It investigates through language, though even language gets questioned as a method. I know, doesn't all poetry investigate through language? Yes. However, in this case, we learn that Korean was originally a woman's language. Shin gives us poetic responses to individual letters in the Korean alphabet. Ultimately ...more
Dec 20, 2007 Robert rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone interested in contemporary poetry
I don't often recommend books of poetry but Ms. Shin has a wonderful of sharing the passion of struggles with language. Passion in terms of frustration, enthusiastic joy, and fear of the power of words. Her poems separate the various meanings of English words and terms, break them down and show the hidden meanings.

While many other poets attempt this, they lose the beauty of words along the way, the ability for words to combine and ring a note. Skirt Full of Black is an exception book because it
Awesome and energetic poetry, about topics dear to me (language! alphabets!) and near (politics! history!). The poetry is complex and beautifully-formed, and each time I read a piece I feel the depth of its expression and the joy of the writing.
See review here: Cut Bank
Oh, how I miss SY's poetry! I can't wait for my copy from B&N.

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Sun Yung Shin's first poetry collection is Skirt Full of Black (Coffee House Press 2007); she is also the co-editor of Outsiders Within: Writing on Transracial Adoption (South End Press 2006) and the author of the bilingual (Korean/English) book for children Cooper's Lesson (Children's Book Press). Among her awards are a 2007 Bust Artist Fellowship and a 2005 Minnesota Arts Board Grant. She is als ...more
More about Sun Yung Shin...
Cooper's Lesson Rough, and Savage Riding Shotgun: Women Write About Their Mothers One Minneapolis: a city in verse

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