Lantern Review: A Journal of Asian American Poetry
Issue 1 | June 2010

Craig Santos Perez | Book Review

Skirt Full of Black (Coffee House Press, 2006) by Sun Yung Shin | $15 | 100 pp | Paper | ISBN: 9-781566-891998

Sun Yung Shin’s Skirt Full of Black (Coffee House Press, 2006), winner of the 2008 Eleventh Annual Asian American Literary Award for Poetry, is dedicated to “the worldwide Korean diaspora—six to seven million overseas Koreans living in 140 countries.” Shin’s collection contours her own experience within the Korean diaspora by articulating the pluralities of gender, language, ethnicity, and culture.

In "Obviously, These Were Home Rather Than Office Machines, Meant for People of Limited Means Who Needed to Do Some Occasional Typing,” Shin collages various kinds of discourse to create an intersection of writing, race, and gender:

It looked rather like a sewing machine, because it was manufactured by the
sewing machine department of the Remington arms company.


By the 1920s, virtually all typewriters were “look-alikes”

only in capital letters: QWERTY: WOMAN: TYPING: HARD RETURN

woman: understroke or “blind writer”