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Poems of Legacy, Poems of Transformation: Monica Youn with Shankar Narayan

March 26 at 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Presented in partnership with Kundiman

Monica Youn, author of Blackacre, Ignatz, and Barter and former lawyer, will read her poetry, which explores new territories of art, meaning, and feeling. Youn has been called “one of the two or three most brilliant poets working in America today”; her work has won numerous awards, including the William Carlos Williams Award of the Poetry Society of America.

She will be joined by Seattle poet-activist and civil rights lawyer Shankar Narayan, whose work grapples with identity, belonging, and power.

This reading is presented in partnership with 4Culture through the Claiming Space project, which aims to lift the voices of writers of color throughout King County. 

About the Readers

Monica Youn is the author of Blackacre (Graywolf Press 2016), which won the William Carlos Williams Award, was a finalist for the National Book Critic Circle Award and the PEN Open Book Award, and was longlisted for the National Book Award. Her previous poetry collections are Ignatz (Four Way Books 2010), which was a finalist for the National Book Award, and Barter (Graywolf Press 2003). She has been awarded the Wallace Stegner Fellowship at Stanford University and the Witter Bynner Fellowship of the Library of Congress, as well as residencies at Civitella Ranieri, the Rockefeller Foundation – Bellagio, Yaddo, and MacDowell. A former lawyer and the daughter of Korean immigrants, she currently teaches at Princeton University and in the Columbia University and Sarah Lawrence MFA programs.


Shankar Narayan explores identity, power, mythology, and technology in a world where the body is flung across borders yet possesses unrivaled power to transcend them. Shankar is the winner of the 2017 Flyway Sweet Corn Poetry Prize and has been a fellow at Kundiman, Jack Straw, and Hugo House. He is a 4Culture grant recipient for Claiming Space, a project to lift the voices of writers of color, and his chapbook, Postcards From the New World, won the Paper Nautilus Debut Series chapbook prize. Shankar draws strength from his global upbringing and from his work as a civil rights attorney for the ACLU. In Seattle, he awakens to the wonders of Cascadia every day, but his heart yearns east to his other hometown, Delhi. Connect with him at shankarnarayan.net.


Related Classes

Monica Youn will be teaching Generative Revision: Beyond the Zero-Sum Game, a one-session workshop, on Monday, March 25, from 5–8 pm.

Shankar Narayan will be teaching Writing with South Asian Qawwalis, a one-session workshop, on Saturday, May 18, from 1–5 pm.