My Dear Yeast

Han’s full-length collection, My Dear Yeast, tracks the complexities of growing up as Third Culture Kid (TCK). The poems in this book move fluidly back and forth with their narrator from Tanzania to Korea to the United States to the United Kingdom, all while narrating a coming of age in the midst of multicultural influences. The effect is of being “from” everywhere and yet not quite anywhere, an experience that Melanie Hyo-In Han portrays with a recognition of both abundance and loss.

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Cover of My Dear Yeast
In the first poem of Han’s debut collection, My Dear Yeast, the child who would become the poet observes a wheelbarrow making its way through a drought-ridden town with its “mound of skin and bones,” the bodies of children. It is a wheelbarrow, she will recognize with bracing, moving insight, that is “rusty and laden / with the world.” Han’s poems, as diverse in their formal embodiments as in their languages—English, Swahili, Korean—unfold a twenty-first century coming of age story that spans cultures, geographies, personal and historical traumas. Hyo-In, the poet’s Korean name, means “wisdom from dawn;” Melanie, the poet’s English name, means “dark.” In My Dear Yeast the reader finds poems that range stirringly across this most multifarious and widest of contraries.
- Daniel Tobin, author of The Mansions
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Sandpaper Tongue, Parchment Lips

Melanie Hyo-In Han’s first poetry chapbook, Sandpaper Tongue, Parchment Lips, is a collection of poetry based on her experiences as a TCK (Third Culture Kid) growing up in East Africa and facing struggles around identity and racism, as well as cultural and linguistic barriers between her and her family.

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Sandpaper Tongue, Parchment Lips can be purchased through Finishing Line Press, Amazon, or Barnes & Noble.

Cover of Sandpaper Tongue, Parchment Lips
In Sandpaper Tongue, Parchment Lips, Melanie Hyo-In Han asks what it means to be an outsider to both language and place while returning the reader-cum-witness to the house of poetry. In plain language Han’s poems pack and unpack the tender complications of the speaker’s puzzling through national belongings whether in Korea, Tanzania, or the United States. The migrating body thrives in rainy seasons, in heartbreak, in alienation, all while baring the intimacy of presence and poetic line.
- Rajiv Mohabir, author of Cutlish and The Cowherd’s Son
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