9th Ave: Kim Hyesoon, Don Mee Choi, Forrest Gander, and Brenda Hillman

Monday, February 11, 2019 - 7:30pm

This event will be held at our 9th Ave. location.

Kim Hyesoon and Don Mee Choi join us to talk about reenacting trauma and narrating death in Kim Hyesoon’s powerful new book, Autobiography of  Death, translated by Don Mee Choi. Special guests Forrest Gander and Brenda Hillman will also treat us to a reading of their poems and translations. Sponsored by The Center for the Art of Translation.


About Autobiography of Death

The title section of Kim Hyesoon’s powerful new book, Autobiography of Death (New Directions), consists of forty-nine poems, each poem representing a single day during which the spirit roams after death before it enters the cycle of reincarnation. The poems not only give voice to those who met unjust deaths during Korea’s violent contemporary history, but also unveil what Kim calls “the structure of death, that we remain living in.” Autobiography of Death, Kim’s most compelling work to date, at once reenacts trauma and narrates death—how we die and how we survive within this cyclical structure. In this sea of mirrors, the plural “you” speaks as a body of multitudes that has been beaten, bombed, and buried many times over by history. The volume concludes on the other side of the mirror with “Face of Rhythm,” a poem about individual pain, illness, and meditation.


About Kim Hyesoon

Kim Hyesoon is one of the most prominent poets of South Korea. Along with several female poets of the 1980s and 1990s, Kim has developed a new terrain of poetry that has been described as “combative, visceral, subversive, innovative, and ontologically feminine,” and which continues to flourish.

About Don Mee Choi

Don Mee Choi is the author of Hardly War (Wave Books, 2016) and The Morning News Is Exciting (Action Books, 2010) and has translated the work of several contemporary Korean women poets, such as Ch’oe Sŭng-ja, Kim Hyesoon, and Yi Yŏn-ju. Her translations include Anxiety of Words (Zephyr Press, 2008), Mommy Must Be a Fountain of Feathers(Action Books, 2008), All the Garbage of the World, Unite! (Action Books, 2011), Sorrowtoothpaste Mirrorcream (Action Books, 2014), and I’m OK, I’m Pig (Bloodaxe Books, 2014).

About Forrest Gander

Forrest Gander is the author of numerous books of poetry, translation, fiction, and essays. He is the A.K. Seaver Professor of Literary Arts and Comparative Literature at Brown University. His 2011 collection Core Samples from the World was a NBCC and Pulitzer Prize finalist for poetry.

About Brenda Hillman

Brenda Hillman is the author of eight collections of poetry, all published by Wesleyan University Press, the most recent of which is Practical Water (2009). With Patricia Dienstfrey, she edited The Grand Permission: New Writings on Poetics and Motherhood(Wesleyan, 2003). Hillman teaches at St. Mary’s College, where she is the Olivia Filippi Professor of Poetry.


Autobiography of Death By Kim Hyesoon, Don Mee Choi (Translated by) Cover Image
By Kim Hyesoon, Don Mee Choi (Translated by)
ISBN: 9780811227346
Availability: NOT on our shelves now. Usually ships from warehouse in several days.
Published: New Directions - November 27th, 2018

Kim Hyesoon’s poems “create a seething, imaginative under-and over-world where myth and politics, the everyday and the fabulous, bleed into each other” (Sean O’Brien, The Independent)

*Winner of The Griffin International Poetry Prize and the Lucien Stryk Asian Translation Award*

Hardly War By Don Mee Choi Cover Image
Temporarily Unavailable
ISBN: 9781940696218
Published: Wave Books - April 5th, 2016

Hardly War, Don Mee Choi's major second collection, defies history, national identity, and militarism. Using artifacts from Choi's father, a professional photographer during the Korean and Vietnam wars, she combines memoir, image, and opera to explore her paternal relationship and heritage.

Be With By Forrest Gander Cover Image
ISBN: 9780811226059
Availability: Click the TITLE to view store availability
Published: New Directions - August 28th, 2018

Publishers Weekly Best Poetry Book of 2018

Forrest Gander’s first book of poems since his Pulitzer finalist Core Samples from the World: a startling look through loss, grief, and regret into the exquisite nature of intimacy

Extra Hidden Life, Among the Days (Wesleyan Poetry) By Brenda Hillman Cover Image
Temporarily Unavailable
ISBN: 9780819578051
Published: Wesleyan University Press - January 16th, 2018

Poetry of grief and sustenance from an award-winning poet

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