Event news: Poetry reading by Don Mee Choi

by Philip Gowman on 21 March, 2017

in Event Notices, Korean literature in translation, Poetry, SOAS, Talks and seminars

After this evening’s poetry reading in the Coronet Theatre’s wonderful Print Room in Notting Hill Gate, Don Mee Choi will be giving another reading at SOAS, tomorrow evening. She promises she will be wearing a special costume for the occasion, at which she will be reading from her 2016 work, Hardly War.

Poetry reading by the Korean poet and translator Don Mee Choi

22 March 2017, 5:00 – 6:00 pm
SOAS, Russell Square, College Buildings, Djam Lecture Theatre (G2)
Register via EventBrite

Choi Hardly War

Don Mee Choi will be reading from her most recent collection Hardly War, which she describes as an attempt to ‘fold race into geopolitics and geopolitics into poetry. Hence, geopolitical poetics. It involves disobeying history, severing its ties to power. It strings together the faintly remembered, the faintly imagined, the faintly discarded.’

As part of the reading Don Mee will be projecting images and text onto a paper dress. After her reading she will give a small talk about the intersection between poetry and geopolitics.

This is a unique opportunity to hear one of the most radical and brilliant poets working in the States discussing and reading from her own work.

Don Mee Choi was born in Korea, but settled in the USA. She is one of Korean poetry’s foremost translators and her translations of Kim Hyesoon are published by Bloodaxe. She is a poet, critic and essayist and in experimental and important work she challenges notions of history and identity. Her last collection Hardly War was published to acclaim in 2016. The New York Times said of Hardly War:

‘Deliberately and excitingly difficult in both its style and its subject matter, Don Mee Choi’s second collection, “Hardly War,” sees its author operating as an archaeologist as much as a poet. Choi’s use of hybrid forms — poetry, memoir, opera libretto, images and artifacts from her father’s ­career as a photojournalist in the Korean and Vietnam Wars — lets her explore themes of injustice and empire, history and identity, sifting through the detritus of family, translation, propaganda and dislocation.’

The event is organised by Modern Poetry in Translation and supported by the Literature Translation Institute of Korea, and hosted by the SOAS Centre for Translation Studies.

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