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Houghton Library

T. S. ELIOT MEMORIAL READING: Kim Hyesoon with Don Mee Choi

Monday, October 2, 2023, 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Houghton Library
Open to the public, Reading/Lecture,

The Woodberry Poetry Room's 2023 Eliot Memorial Reading will honor one of the pre-eminent voices in South Korean poetry and the trailblazing author of fourteen inimitable books of poetry: Kim, Hyesoon.

Kim will read with her long-time translator -- the award-winning poet Don Mee Choi. Introductory remarks will be delivered by acclaimed poet, translator, and Harvard graduate Jack Jung


In-Person Attendance:  Edison Newman Room, Houghton Library, Harvard University, at 6:00pm.
Free and open to the public. A book-signing provided by Grolier Poetry Book Shop will follow the event.

Online Attendance: Livestreaming available via the WPR YouTube Channel at 6:00pm (Eastern Standard Time).

ABOUT KIM HYESOON: Kim, Hyesoon is one of the most prominent and influential contemporary poets of South Korea. The recipient of the 2019 International Griffin Poetry Prize, the 2021 Cikada Prize, and the Samsung Ho-Am Prize in 2022, Kim was the first woman poet to receive the prestigious Kim Su-yong and Midang awards. In a recent New Yorker profile, she was quoted saying: “Feminism isn’t something you’re born believing. Feminism is going through life and changing yourself.” Kim’s fourteenth book of poetry After Earth Dies, Who Will Moon Orbit? appeared last year, and her latest (highly-anticipated) English-language edition, Phantom Pain Wings, has just been published by New Directions (2023). Kim’s poems have appeared in such publications as the New York Times, The Nation, Guernica, and Boston Review. In addition, her poetry has been translated into Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Spanish, Danish, and Swedish. Kim is a professor emeritus of Seoul Institute of the Arts. She lives in Seoul with her husband Lee, Kang-Baek a renowned playwright, and her artist daughter Lee, Fi Jae.

ABOUT DON MEE CHOI: Born in Seoul, South Korea, Don Mee Choi is the author of DMZ Colony (Wave Books, 2020), which received the 2020 National Book Award for Poetry. Her work also includes Hardly War (Wave Books, 2016), and The Morning News Is Exciting (Action Books, 2010). She is a recipient of fellowships from MacArthur, Guggenheim, Lannan, and Whiting Foundations. Choi has translated several collections of Kim's poetry, including Anxiety of Words (Zephyr, 2006), Mommy Must Be a Fountain of Feathers (Action Books, 2008), All the Garbage of the World, Unite! (Action Books, 2011), Autobiography of Death (New Directions, 2018) and Phantom Pain Wings (2023). After working in Seattle for a couple of decades, Choi now lives in Berlin with her husband Jay Weaver, a musician and schoolteacher. Her forthcoming book is Mirror Nation (Wave Books, April 2024). 

The Eliot Memorial Reading is made possible through the generosity of the
T. S. Eliot Foundation. Additional support has been kindly provided by the Korea Institute at Harvard University. 

IMAGE: Courtesy of Jung Melmel.



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Event Organizer

Christina Davis