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Event Details

Tuesday, April 16, 2024 | 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Sung Yung Shin – Budae-jjigae 부대찌개 (Army Base Stew) with SPAM®: A Decolonial Poetry Workshop

Sun Yung Shin – Poet, writer, and cultural worker 
The histories of Asians and Pacific Islanders at home and as “Americans” are inextricable from U.S. empire. This poetry workshop is named for a South Korean dish developed—out of necessity and ingenuity—during desperate post-war times lived in the shadow of U.S. army bases. Despite having 5% of the global population, the U.S. military budget is by far the biggest in the world; it’s 40% of the world’s military expenditures, with more spent on defense than the next 9 nations combined. The 75-year old recipe “Budae-jjigae” incorporates a now iconic 20th-century American food product, SPAM®, produced right here in Austin, Minnesota. In this workshop we will read and discuss eco-feminist poems by Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans, and generate our own drafts of poems that explore our own relationships to empire(s), “race,” ethnicity, nature, body, community, place, language(s), and self.

신 선 영 Sun Yung Shin was born in Seoul, Korea and was raised in the Chicago area. She is a poet, writer, and cultural worker. She is the 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 The Wet Hex (winner of the Midland Authors Society Award for Poetry and finalist for a Minnesota Book Award) 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 and picture book Where We Come From, co-written with Diane Wilson, Shannon Gibney, and John Coy. Her forthcoming picture book, Revolutions are Made of Love: Grace Lee Boggs and James Boggs, co-written with Mélina Mangal, will be published in 2025.

She is a teaching artist with the Minnesota Prison Writing Project and elsewhere. She is a former MacDowell fellow and has received grants from the Bush Foundation, the McKnight Foundation, and the Minnesota State Arts Board. She lives in Minneapolis where she co-directs the community organization Poetry Asylum with poet Su Hwang. (

  • Refreshments will be served, to ensure dietary accommodations please RSVP

    Contact: [email protected]

    Audience: Faculty, Staff, Students

    Sponsors: American Studies, English, Institutional Equity

    Free food: Available for students

    Listed under: Campus Events, Featured Events, Front Page Events, Lectures and Speakers