Merle’s work is interdisciplinary in nature as someone who is continuing a lifelong journey in the service of stories, in many forms: poetry, essays, visual art, and healing work. Merle often explores themes of grief, illness, and connection to spirit through an experiential, experimental, and non-linear lens. They consider their personal journey inseparable from their ancestors’ transgenerational trauma and healing, and silences. Merle has traveled extensively throughout the U.S. as well as ancestral places of origin in Korea and Europe, which heavily informs their relationship with spirit and place. Their current research and lived experience is centered on a generational question of exploring what it means for those in the diaspora living with the Korean culture-bound condition known as 신병 (shinbyeong)—especially for multiracial Koreans who may have language or cultural barriers to access the indigenous practices to which they are being called.
Merle’s previous work as a journalist has appeared in Isthmus and Our Lives Magazine and zines in Madison, WI; Twin Cities Pride Magazine and Twin Cities Daily Planet in the Twin Cities; they are also a published author in the anthology Love, Always: Partners of Trans People on Intimacy, Challenge and Resilience.
They also offer shamanic healing services by appointment. They have been studying under Myron Eshowsky since 2014, learning advanced techniques for transgenerational trauma and ancestral healing; divination; working with place and spirits; and healing emotional, mental, and physical issues on a spiritual level. Merle weaves their creative and spiritual work together in a way that is their own, and especially enjoys working with fellow writers and artists who are trying to tap in more deeply to the world around them.