Poetry. Asian & Asian American Studies. After decades of promoting the Chinese masters of poetry and Buddhist texts, Empty Bowl is honored to publish its first collection by a female Asian American author. VIRGA, Shin Yu Pai's elegant eleventh collection of poems, is a crisp and intelligent response to recent and ancient history. In poems at once visionary and practical, VIRGA portrays Buddhist thought from lived experience, and demonstrates the everyday life of a poet who can see for herself in the "shafts of rain going sublime" the reality of being an Asian American woman in America today. This collection rediscovers who we are in an age when hate-crimes and terrorization destroy the lives of Asians and all people of color. Experiencing these poems, we witness Shin Yu Pai rise in and through the wearying atmosphere of the "dominant caste," as historian Isabel Wilkerson calls white culture, to hold herself, her child, her community, in that sublime state that, within the Zen mind, arises "before touching the ground."
author siteFeature @ The RumpusShanta Lee Gander @ Ms. MagazineZoey Adam @ Hunger MountainInterview @ Shelf AwarenessRobert Francis Flor @ International ExaminerInterview @ Poets & Writers
Shin Yu Pai is currently Civic Poet of The City of Seattle (2023-2024). From 2015 to 2017, she served as the fourth poet laureate of the city of Redmond. Shin Yu is a poet, essayist, and visual artist and is the author of several books including Less Desolate (Blue Cactus Press, 2023), VIRGA (Empty Bowl, 2021), ENSŌ (Entre Ríos Books, 2020), SIGHTINGS: SELECTED WORKS [2000-2005] (1913 Press, 2007), AUX ARCS (La Alameda, 2013), Adamantine (White Pine, 2010), and Equivalence (La Alameda, 2003). Shin Yu's nonfiction essays have appeared in the New York Times, Tricycle, Atlas Obscura, Off Assignment, Zocalo Public Square, YES! Magazine, Khôra, and South Seattle Emerald.
Shin Yu has been an artist in residence for the Seattle Art Museum and Pacific Science Center. She is a 2022 Artist Trust Fellow and was shortlisted for a Stranger Genius Award in Literature in 2014. She is three-time fellow of MacDowell and has also been in residence at Taipei Artist Village, Soul Mountain, The Ragdale Foundation, Centrum, and The National Park Service. Her visual work has been shown at The Dallas Museum of Art, The McKinney Avenue Contemporary, Three Arts Club of Chicago, and The Museum of American Jazz. Her poetry films have screened at the Zebra Poetry Film Festival and the Northwest Film Forum's Cadence video poetry festival.
She is creator, host, and writer of Ten Thousand Things, a podcast on Asian American stories for KUOW Public Radio, Seattle's NPR affiliate station.