Monica Youn is the author of Blackacre (Graywolf Press 2016), Ignatz (Four Way Books 2010), which was a finalist for the National Book Award, and Barter (Graywolf Press 2003). Her poems have been widely published in journals and anthologies, including The New Republic, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Poetry, and The Best American Poetry. She has been awarded the Wallace Stegner Fellowship at Stanford University and the Witter Bynner Fellowship of the Library of Congress, as well as residencies at Civitella Ranieri, the Rockefeller Foundation — Bellagio, Yaddo and MacDowell. Youn received her A.B. from Princeton, where she completed the Certificate Program in Creative Writing, and was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship. After receiving her masters degree in English Literature from Oxford, she attended Yale Law School and practiced law for over a decade, testifying before Congress on multiple occasions, appearing as an expert commentator on PBS and MSNBC, and publishing political commentary in Slate and the New York Times, among other publications. She has previously taught poetry at Bennington College, Columbia University, and in the Warren Wilson and Sarah Lawrence M.F.A. programs.
According to Linda Gregerson, “Monica Youn, quite simply, is one of the two or three most brilliant poets working in America today.” Stanley Fish has described the experience of reading Blackacre as follows: “words and objects are alike subjected to a probing intelligence that is at once philosophical and psychological.... The reader cannot relax for an instant, nor does she want to because the unfolding thought, wire tight and tactile as well as conceptual, is so compelling and demanding of a complete attention that is more than rewarded.” Kathleen Rooney, in the Chicago Tribune, praised Blackacre as "gorgeous and intellectually scintillating." Claudia Rankine has called Youn’s work “disconcerting in its spectatorship and breathtaking in its beauty," and Stephen Burt has said of Monica Youn, "No poet of her generation has made more demands on herself — and none has done more in her art."
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