In a collection that is deeply occupied with the notion of voice and who gets to have it, Shin Yu Pai's NO NEUTRAL reaches toward a more authentic and natural voice to represent the poet’s perspective in all its range and concerns.
A collection deeply occupied with the notion of voice and who gets to have one, NO NEUTRAL presents poet Shin Yu Pai’s perspective in its expansive range of concerns, reaching toward what’s most authentic. Pai dives into explorations of place and their histories: from Port Townsend and the Inland Empire of Southern California to the deserts surrounding Palm Springs, the poet contemplates one’s identity within these shifting spaces. Throughout the book, Pai weaves poems about social unrest, conflict, solidarities, friendships, the mindset of an activist, and her experiences as a woman, mother, artist, and daughter. She continues her lifelong engagement with the visual arts with poems inspired by site-specific works of Rana Begum, Andy Goldsworthy, Maya Lin, Richard Turner, and Tyre Nichols, while also turning her attention to the art of Degenerate Art Ensemble.
Poetry. Asian & Asian American Studies.
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.