Fireside Reading Series: Lara Mimosa Montes, Chris Santiago, Sun Yung Shin

January 25, 2017 @ 7:00 pm
Hamline Midway Library
1558 W Minnehaha Ave
St Paul, MN 55104
Bailey Veesenmeyer 651-222-3242

Lara Mimosa Montes, Chris Santiago, Sun Yung Shin

These gifted poets explore language, meaning, and identity in new and compelling ways with their new work. 



Lara Mimosa Montes, The Somnambulist

At once a writer’s memoir, coming-of-age story, family history, and true crime drama, Montes startling and powerful work weaves together multiple stories in fragments to create a compelling picture of a life becoming.

Lara Mimosa Montes is a writer based in New York and Minneapolis. Her work has appeared in Fence, BOMB, Poor Claudia, The Third Rail, Powder Keg, and elsewhere. Lara holds a Ph.D. in English from The Graduate Center, City University of New York. She also teaches poetry at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and works as a contributing editor at Triple Canopy. Her first book, The Somnambulist, was recently published by Horse Less Press. She was born in the Bronx.


Chris Santiago, Tula

Tula: a ruined Toltec capital; a Russian city known for its accordions; Tagalog for “poem.”

Prismatic, startling, rich with meaning yet sparely composed, Chris Santiago’s debut collection of poems begins with one word and transforms it, in a dazzling sleight of hand, into a multivalent symbol for the immigrant experience. Tula: Santiago reveals to readers a distant land devastated by war. Tula: its music beckons in rhythms, time signatures, and lullabies. Tula: can the poem, he seems to ask, build an imaginative bridge back to a family lost to geography, history, and a forgotten language?

Inspired by the experiences of the second-generation immigrant who does not fully acquire the language of his parents, Tula paints the portrait of a mythic homeland that is part ghostly underworld, part unknowable paradise. Language splinters. Impossible islands form an archipelago across its landscape. A mother sings lullabies and a father works the graveyard shift in St. Paul—while in the Philippines, two dissident uncles and a grandfather send messages and telegrams from the afterlife.

Deeply ambitious, a collection that examines the shortcomings and possibilities of both language and poetry themselves, Tula announces the arrival of a major new literary talent.

Chris Santiago was awarded the 2016 Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry for his manuscript Tula. His poems, short stories, and criticism have appeared in FIELDPleiades, the Asian American Literary Review, and elsewhere. He has received fellowships from Kundiman and the Mellon Foundation/American Council of Learned Societies, and nominations for Best New Poets and others. Born and raised in the Twin Cities, he received his PhD in the literature and creative writing program at the University of Southern California and is an assistant professor in the English department at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul.


Unbearable Splendor

Sun Yung Shin, Unbearable Splendor

Who is guest, and who is host? Adoption, Antigone, zombies, clones, and minotaurs—all building blocks, forming and reforming our ideas.

In addition to Unbearable Splendor, Sun Yung Shin is the author of poetry collections Rough, and Savage and Skirt Full of Black, which won an Asian American Literary Award. She coedited the anthology Outsiders Within: Writing on Transracial Adoption, and is the author of Cooper’s Lesson, a bilingual Korean/English illustrated book for children. She’s received grants and fellowships from the Minnesota State Arts Board, the Bush Foundation, the Jerome Foundation, and elsewhere. She lives in Minneapolis and teaches at the Perpich Center for the Arts.


This program is free and open to the public. Sign language interpretation and other accommodations are available with advance notice. For additional information, call The Friends or email Please note, a wood-burning fire accompanies the program.

About the series >>