Creative Writing Past Faculty

Monica Youn

Monica Youn headshot


Monica Youn is the author of three books of poetry, most recently BLACKACRE (Graywolf Press 2016), which won the William Carlos Williams Award of the Poetry Society of America. It was also a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Kingsley Tufts Award and the PEN Open Book Award and was longlisted for the National Book Award, as well as being named one of the best poetry collections of the year by the New York Times, the Washington Post and BuzzFeed. Her previous book IGNATZ (Four Way Books 2010) was a finalist for the National Book Award. She has received fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the Witter Bynner Fellowship of the Library of Congress, and the Wallace Stegner Fellowship at Stanford University, among other awards. The daughter of Korean immigrants and a former lawyer, she was raised in Houston, Texas, and now lives in New York.

Linda Gregerson has said that “Monica Youn, quite simply, is one of the two or three most brilliant poets working in America today."  In her citation for the William Carlos Williams Award, Robin Coste Lewis writes that in BLACKACRE, “Youn transforms English itself, a vast landscape of repressed histories, into a seemingly black acre, too, an unexplored site, where suddenly the fraught relationships between the body, time, and history are stunningly articulated simultaneously.” John Yau, writing in Hyperallergic, writes that "in every generation there is a handful of poets who challenge the way we think about language and how it is used…. It is to this distinguished company that Youn now belongs.”

She is a member of the curatorial group The Racial Imaginary Institute and chairs the Lewis Center Committee on Race and the Arts.