Well-Crafted Reading Series: Asian American Poetry


Seven Asian American poets read from their recent poetry collections in this reading series co-sponsored by the St. Thomas English Department and Global Poetry at Metropolitan State University.

Date & Time:

Saturday, October 7, 2017
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM


Free and Open to the Public


Owens Science Hall, 3M Auditorium (OWS 150)
Building #65 on campus map

Seven Asian American poets will share their work at this special poetry reading, co-hosted by the University of St. Thomas English Department and Global Poetry at Metropolitan State University. Poets scheduled to read include Chris Santiago, Hieu Minh Nguyen, Ed Bok Lee, Jennifer Kwon Dobbs, Emily Jungmin Yoon, E.J. Koh, and Marci Calabretta Cancio-Bello.‌‌‌‌

‌Chris Santiago
150 px tallChris Santiago is the author of the novel Arkipelagos, which weaves together noir, speculative fiction, and postcolonial studies. His poetry collection, Tula, was the winnder of the Milkweed Editions Lindquist & vennum Prize for poetry. He teaches creative writing and new media at the University of St. Thomas

Hieu Minh Nguyen
150 px tallHieu Minh Nguyen is the author of This Way to the Sugar (Write Bloody Press, 2014), which was a finalist for both a Minnesota Book Awards and a Lambda Literary Awards, and the forthcoming Not Here (Coffee House Press, 2018). A queer Vietnamese American poet, Hieu is a Kundiman fellow and a poetry editor for Muzzle Magazine. His work has also appeared in the Southern Indiana Review, Guernica, Ninth Letter, Devil's Lake, Bat City Review, the Paris-American, and elsewhere. Hieu is a nationally touring poet, performer, and teaching artist. He lives in Minneapolis.

Ed Bok Lee
150px tallPoet and playwright Ed Bok Lee was raised in South Korea, North Dakota, and Minnesota, and he earned an MFA from Brown University. He is the author of Whorled (2011) winner of an American Book Award and a Minnesota Book Award for Poetry; and Real Karaoke People (2005), winner of a 2006 PEN/Open Book Award, and an Asian American Literary Award (Members' Choice). He has shared his work on public radio and MTV, as well as in journals, anthologies, and on stages across North America, Europe, and Asia. Lee has received grants from from the McKnight Foundation, Jerome Foundation, Minnesota State Arts Board, Loft Literary Center, and National Endowment for the Arts. His plays have been seen at major regional and national theaters including the Guthrie Theater, New York Theater Workshop, Joseph Papp Public Theater, Theater Mu, Taipei Theater, Trinity Repertory Company, and the Walker Art Center. He has worked as a journalist, physical education instructor, bartender, and translator, and is currently an associate professor at Metropolitan State University in Minnesota.

Jennifer Kwon Dobbs
150px tallJennifer Kwon Dobbs earned a MFA in poetry from the University of Pittsburgh and an MA and PhD in literature and creative writing from USC. Her poetry collection Paper Pavilion (2007) received the White Pine Press Poetry Prize and the New England Poetry Society’s Sheila Motton Book Award. Her chapbook Song of a Mirror was a finalist for the Tupelo Press Snowbound Chapbook Award. Her poems have been anthologized in Echoes Upon Echoes, Language for a New Century, and One for the Money: The Sentence as a Poetic Form. Her poems and essays have been translated into Greek, Korean, and Turkish. Poet Norman Dubie notes, “Jennifer Kwon Dobbs writes a harrowing poem. ... Think of Wallace Stevens worrying about the traversing of the void, yes, folded and jeweled like time.” Adopted from South Korea and reunited with her family, she is associate professor of English at St. Olaf College where she teaches creative writing, poetry and poetics, and Asian American literature. She lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Emily Jungmin Yoon
150px tallEmily Jungmin Yoon is the author of Ordinary Misfortunes (Tupelo Press, 2017), winner of the Sunken Garden Chapbook Prize, selected by Maggie Smith. Her first full-length collection, A Cruelty Special to Our Species, is forthcoming from Ecco in 2018. Born in Busan, Republic of Korea, Yoon earned her BA in English and communication at the University of Pennsylvania and her MFA in creative writing at New York University, where she served as an award editor for the Washington Square Review and received a Starworks Fellowship. Her poems and translations have appeared or are forthcoming in the New Yorker, Poetry magazine, Columbia Journal Online, Pinwheel, and elsewhere. She is the poetry editor for The Margins, the literary magazine of the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, and is pursuing a PhD in Korean literature in the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago. In 2017, Yoon was a recipient of the Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation.

E.J. Koh
150 px tallE. J. Koh is the author of A Lesser Love, recipient of the Pleiades Editors Prize, called “first-rate, intelligent, pure-gold – a triumph” by author of  The Cloud Corporation, Timothy Donnelly. Her poems, translations, and stories have appeared in Boston Review, Columbia Review, Southeast Review, World Literature Today, TriQuarterly, Narrative, The Margins, PEN America, La Petite Zine, Poetry Northwest, Privacy Policy: The Anthology of Surveillance Poetics (Black Ocean Press, 2014), & others. Koh accepted fellowships and scholarships from The MacDowell Colony, Kundiman, Napa Valley Writers’ Conference, Vermont Studio Center, and Jack Straw Writers Program. While speaking at AWP, Asian American Educators Alliance,  ALTA, Split this Rock, and festivals like Bumbershoot, Koh discusses subjects of contemporary Korean American voices in poetry & translation. Koh earned her MFA at Columbia University in New York for Creative Writing Poetry & Literary Translation in Korean and Japanese. She is completing her PhD at the University of Washington for English Language and Literature in Seattle where she further researches the culture-specific phenomena of Jeong, most closely translated as a bond or bondage by love. Her forthcoming memoir How to Age with Grace alights the reader to the emotional trauma and surprising levity of her mother’s sixty love letters posted to her in 2004 and discovered in 2013. Koh won the 2017 ALTA Emerging Translator Mentorship under Don Mee Choi and is translating poet Yi Won’s poetry books When They Ruled the Earth (1996) and The Lightest Motorcycle in the World (2007). Koh excavates the unique struggle of interpreting Korea’s neglected past and present.

Marci Calabretta Cancio-Bello
150 px tallPoet Marci Calabretta Cancio-Bello grew up in Ithaca, New York. She earned a BA at Carnegie Mellon University and an MFA at Florida International University, where she received a John S. and James L. Knight Fellowship and an Academy of American Poets Prize. Citing the poet Ai as an early influence, Cancio-Bello composes image-rich lyric poems in which she engages crossings and transformations, the nature of grief, and desire. She is author of the chapbook Last Train to the Midnight Market (2013) and the full-length collection Hour of the Ox (2016), which won the 2015 Donald Hall Prize for Poetry. Her poems have also appeared in Best New Poets 2015, and she is the recipient of a Kundiman fellowship. Cofounding editor of Print-Oriented Bastards, Cancio-Bello has also served as a contributing editor for Florida Book Review and an assistant editor for Jai-Alai Magazine. She has been program coordinator for the Miami Book Fair and a producer for The Working Poet Radio Show. She lives in Miami.

Parking (available for $1/hour after 4pm)

Anderson Parking Facility--located at the corner of Cretin Ave. and Grand Ave, next to Owens Science Hall. Please note that this is homecoming weekend at St. Thomas, so there will be more people on campus than usual this evening.

All programs offered by the University of St. Thomas shall be readily accessible to individuals with disabilities. For details, call (651) 962-6315.