Women & Children First Bookstore
5233 N Clark St, Chicago, Illinois 60640
Please join Women & Children First Bookstore in celebrating the publication of A Cruelty Special to Our Species by Emily Jungmin Yoon. Joining her for a poetry reading will be Rachel Mennies, Claire Sylvester Smith, and Korey Williams.
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.
Emily Jungmin Yoon is the author of Ordinary Misfortunes (Tupelo Press, 2017), winner of the Sunken Garden Chapbook Prize, and A Cruelty Special to Our Species (Ecco Books, 2018). Her poems and translations appear or are forthcoming in The New Yorker, POETRY, The Literary Review, The New York Times Magazine, and elsewhere. She has received awards and fellowships from Ploughshares’ Emerging Writer’s Contest, AWP’s WC&C Scholarship Competition, The Home School in Miami, the Aspen Institute, New York University, the University of Chicago, and Money for Women/Barbara Deming Memorial Fund. In 2017, she received the Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation. She currently serves as the Poetry Editor for The Margins, the literary magazine of the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, and is a PhD student in the East Asian Languages and Civilizations Department at the University of Chicago.
Rachel Mennies is the author of The Glad Hand of God Points Backwards, winner of the 2014 Walt McDonald First-Book Prize in Poetry and a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award. She lives in Chicago and is a member of AGNI’s editorial staff.
Claire Sylvester Smith is a physician and writer. She received an MFA from the Michener Center for Writers and an MD from the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. Her research on communication during awake surgery has been published in The American Journal of Surgery and featured in the New York Times.
Korey Williams grew up in suburban Chicago. During his undergraduate career at Illinois Wesleyan University, he studied abroad at Hertford College, University of Oxford. Then, after completing the Master of Arts Program in the Humanities at the University of Chicago in 2014, he went on to earn a MFA in poetry from Cornell University. Williams was a finalist in the 2017 National Poetry Series and his work appears in Assaracus: A Journal of Gay Poetry, Fogged Clarity, Winter Tangerine, The Offing, Narrative Magazine, and elsewhere. Now, having returned to the University of Chicago as a doctoral student, his research centers on poetry and poetics.
Our store is wheelchair accessible, however our bathrooms are not--there is a narrow hallway and sharp 90-degree turn on the way to our bathrooms. Seating is first come, first served, but we are happy to reserve seats for people with disabilities. Please call the store at 773-769-9299 the day of the event if you need a reserved seat or have additional questions.