This item will be released on October 10, 2019.


Ensō…is a model book— in its expansiveness of vision— to teach us how to extend poetry beyond the page as part of a publicly engaged, collaborative, and multimedial practice.” — Michael Leong

“Shin Yu Pai creates a language to inhabit the in-between places of the world and imagination.” — Miriam Sagan

“One of the most thoughtful poets in the Northwest.” — Paul Constant, Seattle Review of Books

It is fitting that we’d present a hybrid book and digital experience for Shin Yu Pai, a poet known for her wide-ranging collaborations and creative practice engaged as much in physical space as a moment on the page. With its blend of personal essays reflecting on the development of her poetics, Ensō places new work next to old, to create not only a mid-career retrospective, but a guidebook for poets interested in moving their practice off the page and into the community. From her early work in place-based and ekphrastic poetry, though working to control her work through bookmaking, to her current experimentation with installation and projection, the book highlights the process to the poetry. The reader learns more about Ms. Pai’s influences— the identities that resonate for her— and her thoughts on cultural absorption, exchange and appropriation. She speaks deeply of how motherhood transformed her views of what is possible in poetry, reconnecting her to her mother’s creative legacy, and pushing her to think of ways for her own work to inhabit the world around us. She gives moving examples of how personal and systematic racism and misogyny have shaped her practice and she invites the reader into a deeper conversation about how a poet writes with and about their community.

As a book interested in process, we have included within Ensō a second book of Ms. Pai’s haiku in her discussion of haiku practice. As with all of our books, we include a wide range of audio projects and readings related to the book. We also include two video animations discussed in the book, “Heyday” and “Puget Sound Driftwood Circle.”

Additional information





Publication Date

Expected October 2019