From From by Monica Youn: Carcanet Online Book Launch

  • DATE

    24 May 2023

  • TIME

    7:00 pm to 8:00 pm


    Carcanet Press

Please join us to celebrate the launch of From From by Monica Youn. Hosting the reading will be poet and critic Sarah Howe. The event will feature readings and discussion, and audience members will have the opportunity to ask their own questions. We will show the text during readings so that you can read along.

Registration for this online event will cost £2, later redeemable against the cost of the book. All attendees will receive the discount code and how to purchase the book during and after event.

Monica Youn’s first UK collection is her fourth and most ambitious book. It ends with prose, or at least with paragraphs, the long lyrical essay ‘In the Passive Voice’, and the intense ‘Detail of the Rice Chest’, explorations of race, identity and belonging seldom so directly broached in poetry, though they are the unspoken theme of much of our silenced discourse. Monica Youn is an undefended poet, which is not the same thing as defenceless. On the contrary, the undefended poet speaks truths without defensive irony. When there is humour it disarms the reader, until we too are undefended and can confront some of the themes we are reluctant to speak of.

The poems recast classical myth in the light of coloniality, otherness and desire, juxtaposing figures which elicit one another’s deeper natures. There are metamorphoses, fables. In place of Wallace Stevens’s blackbird, Youn proposes ‘Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Magpie’, the two-hued bird with a bad reputation.

Monica Youn grew up in Houston, the daughter of Korean immigrants, and now splits her time between Brooklyn and Southern California, where she is an associate professor of English at UC Irvine. Her previous poetry collections are Blackacre (2016), Ignatz (2010), and Barter (2003). She has been awarded the Levinson Prize from the Poetry Foundation, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the William Carlos Williams Award of the Poetry Society of America, a Witter Bynner Fellowship from the Library of Congress, and a Stegner Fellowship among other honors. She has been a finalist for the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Kingsley Tufts Award, and the PEN Open Book Award. She is a former constitutional lawyer and a member of the curatorial collective the Racial Imaginary Institute.

Sarah Howe is a Hong Kong-born British poet, academic and editor. Her first collection of poems is Loop of Jade (Chatto & Windus, 2015).