Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book


Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Emily Jungmin Yoon  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Poetry

Audience: Adult;

Born: , in Busan, South Korea


-- Twitter -- https://twitter.com/EmilyYoon?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor
-- Website -- http://emily-yoon-poetry.tumblr.com/


Illinois Connection

Yoon is a PhD student studying Korean literature in the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

Emily Jungmin Yoon is the author of Ordinary Misfortunes, the 2017 winner of the Sunken Garden Chapbook Prize by Tupelo Press. Yoon received her BA at the University of Pennsylvania and MFA in Creative Writing at New York University. She has been the recipient of awards and fellowships from Ploughshares' Emerging Writer's Contest, AWP's WC&C Scholarship Competition, and the Poetry Foundation, among others. Her poems and translations have appeared in publications including The New Yorker, POETRY, The New York Times Magazine, and Korean Literature Now. She currently serves as the Poetry Editor for The Margins, the literary magazine of the Asian American Writers' Workshop.


Published Works Expand for more information


Titles At Your Library

A Cruelty Special to Our Species: Poems
ISBN: 0062843680

Ecco. 2018

A piercing debut collection of poems exploring gender, race, and violence from a sensational new talent

In her arresting collection, urgently relevant for our times, poet Emily Jungmin Yoon confronts the histories of sexual violence against women, focusing in particular on Korean so-called “comfort women,” women who were forced into sexual labor in Japanese-occupied territories during World War II.

In wrenching language, A Cruelty Special to Our Species unforgettably describes the brutalities of war and the fear and sorrow of those whose lives and bodies were swept up by a colonizing power, bringing powerful voice to an oppressed group of people whose histories have often been erased and overlooked. “What is a body in a stolen country,” Yoon asks. “What is right in war.”

Moving readers through time, space, and different cultures, and bringing vivid life to the testimonies and confessions of the victims,Yoon takes possession of a painful and shameful history even while unearthing moments of rare beauty in acts of resistance and resilience, and in the instinct to survive and bear witness.

Ordinary Misfortunes
ISBN: 1946482064

Tupelo Press. 2017

Winner of the Sunken Garden Poetry Prize

Poetry. Korea continues to grapple with the shared memory of its Japanese and US occupations. The poems in ORDINARY MISFORTUNES incorporate actual testimony about cruelty against vulnerable bodies--including the wianbu, euphemistically known as "comfort women"--as the poet seeks to find places where brutality is overcome through true human connections. Emily Jungmin Yoon asks, Why do we write poems amid such violence? What can I, and what can poetry, do? Her response to those tough questions is a sequence of reverberating poems that blend documentary precision with impassioned witness, bringing to bear both scholarship and artistry.


Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability: No.