Shin Yu Pai

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Seattle Civic Poet, 2023–2024

Shin Yu Pai, born on September 28, 1975, is a Taiwanese American poet, essayist, and visual artist. She received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and studied writing and poetics at Naropa University.

Pai is the author of several books, including Less Desolate (Blue Cactus Press, 2023); No Neutral (Empty Bowl, 2023); Virga (Empty Bowl, 2021); ENSŌ (Entre Ríos Books, 2020); Sightings: Selected Works [2000–2005] (1913 Press, 2007); Aux Arcs (La Alameda, 2013); Adamantine (White Pine, 2010); and Equivalence (La Alameda, 2003). 

Pai is the recipient of several fellowships and honors, including a 2022 Artist Trust Fellowship and a MacDowell Fellowship. In 2014, she was shortlisted for a Stranger Genius Award in Literature. She has been the artist in residence for the Seattle Art Museum, the Pacific Science Center, the National Park Service, Taipei Artist Village, Soul Mountain Retreat, the Ragdale Foundation, and Centrum. 

Pai’s visual work has been shown at the Dallas Museum of Art, the McKinney Avenue Contemporary (MAC), Three Arts Club of Chicago, and the American Jazz Museum. Her poetry films have been screened at the Zebra Poetry Film Festival and the Northwest Film Forum’s Cadence Video Poetry Festival.

Pai is the creator, host, and writer of Ten Thousand Things, a podcast on Asian American stories for KUOW Public Radio, Seattle’s NPR affiliate station. She serves as Seattle’s Civic Poet through 2024. From 2015 to 2017, she served as the fourth poet laureate of Redmond, Washington. In 2023, Pai received an Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellowship. Pai lives and works in Seattle.