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Lit Chat

Lit Chat: Meet Jennifer Bowen Hicks

Posted on Fri, Mar 16 2018 2:22 pm by Sun Yung Shin

Text image: Lit Chat, Sun Yung Shin interviews local literati

 

More optimistically, while I don’t think we can ask art to “do” anything—after working with my students—I’m more convinced than ever of art’s potential to open a space that is fertile, healing, sacred, and shared. Tomas Tranströmer says, “Every person is a half open door/ leading to a room for everyone.” This work shows me time and again how writing opens that door. It is the most hopeful thing I know.

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Lit Chat: Meet Rachel Moritz

Posted on Thu, Jan 25 2018 1:56 pm by Sun Yung Shin

headshot image of writer Rachel Moritz, with caption "Lit Chat: Sun Yung Shin interviews local literati"

"For myself, I’m probably more aware that each stage of life is like its own geography, a place we’re surprised to find ourselves. We need language in all the places, illuminating all the experiences. If I ever doubt my own writing practice, or think I should give it up, it’s helpful to just come back to this."

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Lit Chat: Sagirah Shahid

Posted on Wed, Dec 6 2017 9:00 am by Sun Yung Shin

"I think I write more in the winter because I get easily distracted in the summer. That said, I think I’m more of a gatherer in the warmer months, my creative process is very fragmented, so I jot things down or immerse myself in experiences/experimentation when it’s warm. In the winter it’s ugly showerless isolation, where I play chicken with my own emotional vulnerabilities and fears to attempt getting at something that at the very least feels honest—even if it isn’t any good. I binge-read in waves and spurts."

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Lit Chat: Meet Maya Beck

Posted on Wed, Nov 22 2017 9:00 am by Sun Yung Shin

image of writer maya beck, with caption "lit chat: sun yung shin interviews local literati"

"I was fascinated with the idea of magical girls, which is this whole genre in anime/manga focused on girls with magical powers who are as feminine as superheroes are traditionally masculine. I just really needed there to be a magical girl who wore a hijab so that I could feel that my hijab could be as pretty as their tiaras."

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Lit Chat: Meet April Gibson

Posted on Thu, Oct 19 2017 11:00 am by Sun Yung Shin

 

April Gibson is a poet, essayist, and educator whose work has appeared in Pluck!, Valley Voices, Tidal Basin Review, Literary Mama, and elsewhere. She has received a Loft Mentor Series Award in Poetry, a Vermont Studio Center Residency, and is a fellow of The Watering Hole Poetry Retreat, a VONA/Voices Writing Workshop fellow, and a Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop fellow. Her chapbook, Automation (2015), was published by Willow Books as part of their emerging poet and writer series. Her current project is a full-length poetry collection titled The Black Woman Press ConferenceI met April some years ago at a reading at Common Good Books and I was immediately struck by her poetry’s force and grace. It was my pleasure to interview this bright, bold light about her recent and in-progress performance and poetic work.

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Lit Chat: Meet Stephanie Chrismon

Posted on Wed, Sep 27 2017 2:37 pm by Sun Yung Shin

I met speculative novelist/prose writer and fellow INTJ Stephanie Chrismon last year when I was the local poetry mentor for the Loft Mentor Series and she was a prose participant. I was inspired by her sense of humor, her fearlessness in her personal essays, and her passion while presenting her work at the Loft.

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Lit Chat: Meet Marcie Rendon

Posted on Tue, Aug 8 2017 9:00 am by Sun Yung Shin

Minneapolis-based author and enrolled member of the White Earth Nation Marcie Rendon is a delightful person and a gifted, hard working, and prolific writer in many genres. She was generous enough to chat with me about her work and her new debut novel Murder on the Red River from Cinco Puntos Press, which she describes as, “the story about a young Native woman, raised in foster care, who is incredibly resilient and is making her way in the world, her way. In doing so, she helps the county sheriff solve a murder in the Red River Valley of the North.” The Red River Valley has been home to Ojibwe in the region for hundreds of years; European settler-occupiers arrived in 1812. Currently, the valley spans the political border between the nations of Canada and the United States.

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Lit Chat: Meet Moheb Soliman

Posted on Fri, Jun 30 2017 9:00 am by Sun Yung Shin

Water. Poetry. Space. Place. The sublime. If you aren’t familiar with the writer and cultural worker Moheb Soliman’s poetry and way of looking at the Midwest, you’re missing out! Moheb lives in Minneapolis and works at the Saint Paul-based organization Mizna, which produces an Arab American lit journal and film festival. 

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Lit Chat: Meet Dameun Strange

Posted on Thu, Feb 2 2017 9:00 am by Sun Yung Shin

Dameun Strange is a musician, composer, songwriter, non-profit leader, dapper man, and all-around cool person well known to many of us in the Twin Cities community, and I was happy he was willing to spend some of his time with me talking about the cosmos, his youth in Washington, D.C., songwriting, and other starry conversational offshoots. He fit in our chat between an already long, full day of work as the executive director of NEMAA (Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association) and an evening board meeting.

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Lit Chat: Meet Lara Mimosa Montes

Posted on Wed, Jan 11 2017 9:00 am by Sun Yung Shin

Bronx-born poet Lara Mimosa Montes’ debut book, The Somnambulist, out from Horse Less Press in late 2016, was the main topic of conversation when she and I sat down to talk about poetry. Montes’ work has appeared in FenceBOMBThe Third Rail, and elsewhere. She is a recently defended PhD candidate in English at The Graduate Center, City University of New York. She also teaches poetry at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and works as an editor for Triple Canopy and Poor Claudia magazines.   

With the book itself between us like a beautiful meal (or a small Ouija board), we meandered through a discussion about influences and aesthetics.

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