Some Are Always Hungry
Winner of the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry, Some Are Always Hungry chronicles a family’s wartime survival, immigration, and heirloom trauma through the lens of food, or the lack thereof. Through the vehicle of recipe, butchery, and dinner table poems, the collection negotiates the myriad ways diasporic communities comfort and name themselves in other nations, as well as the ways cuisine is inextricably linked to occupation, transmission, and survival. Dwelling on the personal as much as the historical, Some Are Always Hungry traces the lineage of the speaker’s place in history and diaspora through mythmaking and cooking, which is to say, conjuring.
“Image by clear-eyed image, sound by tightly wrought sound, the poems in Some Are Always Hungry are a thundering revelation. At once a reckoning with immigration and historical trauma and rooted in the sensorial world, these poems are timeless and ongoing. Here is both the fever and the scar it leaves, the female body and the lineage of power, hunger, and desire, what cannot be forgotten and what keeps us alive despite it all; here is a poet staking her undeniable claim on the world.”—Ada Limón, author of The Carrying
“In this visceral yet compassionate inquiry into what makes us alive, Yun shows us how hope can be fashioned out of the desire to speak on and through atrocities. This book is one of those rare collections that stuns me back to my own life, somehow renewed, somehow better, kinder, and less alone.”—Ocean Vuong, author of Night Sky with Exit Wounds
"Yun’s poems are unflinching in subject matter and elegant in expression. This contrast of painful moments, beautifully rendered, makes for compelling reading."—Sylvia Santiago, Kenyon Review