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AAWW Radio is the podcast of the Asian American Writers' Workshop, a national nonprofit dedicated to the idea that Asian American stories deserve to be told. Listen to AAWW Radio and you’ll hear selected audio from our current and past events. We’ve hosted established writers like Claudia Rankine, Maxine Hong Kingston, Roxane Gay, Amitav Ghosh, and Hanya Yanagihara, as well as more emerging writers like Ocean Vuong, Solmaz Sharif, and Jenny Zhang. Our events are intimate and intellectual, quirky yet curated, dedicated to social justice but with a sense of humor and weirdness. We curate our events to juxtapose novelists and activists, poets and intellectuals, and bring together people who usually wouldn’t be in the same room. We’ve got it all: from avant-garde poetry to post-colonial politics, feminist comics to lyric verse, literary fiction to dispatches from the racial justice left. A sanctuary for the immigrant imagination, we’re inventing the future of Asian American literary culture. Learn more by visiting aaww.org.

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Oct 17, 2018

We’re bringing you another episode of Poetry Potluck featuring audio from our favorite AAWW poetry events and showcasing exciting poets of the moment. In Poetry Potluck 3, we celebrate Emily Jungmin Yoon’s debut collection of poetry, A Cruelty Special to our Species. As the Poetry editor for The Margins, Emily has cultivated a special home for Asian American poetry in all its richness, and we’re thrilled to celebrate her collection.

Emily Jungmin Yoon collects testimony and confronts history in her debut collection, A Cruelty Special to Our Species. The poems in this book are records of earthly and human violence—the sexual slavery of Korean comfort women, lives lost during natural disasters, and the everyday, accumulating ways that women hurt and are made to silently accept that pain. These are poems deeply invested in the minutiae of language, how one word leads to the next, connecting sound, rhythm, and meaning between languages, poets, and women.

She has invited three poets to read alongside her; Wo Chan, Sueyeun Juliette Lee, and Kristin Chang. They read poems about friendship on mushrooms, a roast duck elegy to restaurant families, and environmental erotica about condensation.

Here’s programs assistant Tiffany Tran Le, who introduces each writer. Thanks for listening.