Translated by Jiyoon Lee, Don Mee Choi, Jake Levine and Johannes Göransson.
This collection brings together three of the most exciting voices in contemporary Korean poetry to the English language in translation. These three women poets shock and delight, entertain and de-familiarize, corrupt and contaminate traditional readings and stereotypical definitions of Asian women, Asian poetry, Asian-ness. While K-pop girl groups sell cuteness, marketing the female body as an object to be consumed by the male gaze, poems by these three women reveal how that manufactured cuteness is a state of acute deformity. If the male gaze strips the female body of significant social agency through a loss of authenticity or aura, these poets give us a world that shuts down the power behind that gaze.
This tenth volume in the Asia Pacific Series presents three essential women’s voices in contemporary world literature with a selection of work from Kim Min-Jeong, Kim Yi-Deum & Kim Haeng Sook, and gives English-language readers new access to the hybridity of genre and style representative of Korea’s (“Future Wave”) poets.
Kim Min-Jeong was born in Inchon in 1976, received a B.A. in creative writing from Chung’ang University and studied at the graduate school of the same university. She made her literary debut in 1999 by winning the Munye chung’ang Rookie Writer’s Award. Her publications include Flying Porcupine Maiden (2005) and She Began to Feel - for the First Time(2009). She is the recipient of the 2007 Pak In-hwan Literary Award.
Kim Yi-Deum has published five books of poetry – A Stain in the Shape of a Star (2005), Cheer up, Femme Fatale (2007), The Unspeakable Lover (2011), Song of Berlin, Dahlem (2013), and Hysteria (2014) – and the novel Blood Sisters
(2011). Her work has been adapted into a play (The Metamorphosis, 2014) and a film (After School, 2015). She has received numerous awards for her poetry, including the Poetry & the World Literary Award (2010), the Kim Daljin Changwon Award (2011), the 22nd Century Literary Award (2015) and the Kim Chunsoo Award (2015). She read at the Stockholm International Poetry Festival in 2014 and Biennale Internationale des Poètes en Val-de-Marne in 2015. Having received her PhD for a thesis on Korean feminist poetics, she teaches at Gyeongsang National University. She is also a newspaper columnist and hosts a poetry-themed radio program. In 2012, she held a residency at the Free University of Berlin as part of the Writer-in-Residence Abroad Program of the Arts Council Korea (ARKO). Kim is currently finalizing her book of interviews with homeless people in Paris, as well as writing a new book of poems and essays, while in residence at the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia.
Kim Haeng-sook (born in Seoul – 1970) is a Korean poet and professor. Her debut poem appeared in the quarterly Contemporary Literature in 1999. In 2000, she was named the recipient of the Daesan Creative Writing Fund. Her poetry collections include Adolescence (2003), The Ability to Part (2007), and she has also published book of prose including What Was Literature (2005), Traversing Creations and Ruins (2005). She also received the Solmoe Creative Writing Fund in 2007. Currently she is professor of Korean literature at Kangnam University.
Jake Levine is the author of two chapbooks, The Threshold of Erasure and Vilna Dybbuk. He translates Kim Kyung-ju and is currently working on a PhD in comparative literature at Seoul National University. He edits Spork Press and writes a bi-monthly column introducing American poetry to Korea at the Korean webzine Munjang.
Ji Yoon Lee is a poet and translator whose most recent publication is a book of translation, Cheer Up, Femme Fatale (Action Books, 2015). She is the author of Foreigner’s Folly (Coconut Books, 2014), Funsize/Bitesize (Birds of Lace, 2013) and IMMA (Radioactive Moat, 2012). She is the winner of the Joanna Cargill prize (2014), and her manuscript was a finalist for the 1913 First Book Prize (2012). Her poems and translations have appeared in Asymptote, Eleveneleven, The Volta, PANK, Bambi Muse, Seven Corners, The YOLO Pages, The Animated Reader, and & Now Awards 3. She was born in South Korea, and immigrated to the United States as a teen. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Notre Dame.
Don Mee Choi was born in Seoul and grew up in Seoul and Hong Kong. She now lives in Seattle. She is the author of The Morning News is Exciting (Action Books, 2010) and a recipient of a 2011 Whiting Writers Award and the 2012 Lucien Stryk Translation Prize. Her most recent translation titles are Princess Abandoned (Tinfish, 2012), Sorrowtoothpaste Mirrorcream(Action Books, 2014), and I’m OK, I’m Pig! (Bloodaxe Books, 2014). She has a pamphlet of talks forthcoming from Wave Books. In 2014, her Petite Manifesto was published by Vagabond Press and in 2015 the collaborative project Trilingual Renshi.
Johannes Göransson Poet and translator Johannes Göransson emigrated with his family from Skåne, Sweden to the United States at age 13. He earned a BA from the University of Minnesota, an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and his PhD from the University of Georgia. He is the author of several books, including Haute Surveillance (2013), Entrance to a colonial pageant in which we all begin to intricate (2011), and Dear Ra (A Story in Flinches)(2008). He has translated Aase Berg’s Dark Matter (2012), Transfer Fat (2012), and Remainland: Selected Poems of Aase Berg (2005) as well as Henry Parland’s Ideals Clearance (2007).