Kim Hyesoon began publishing in 1979 and was one of the first few women in South Korea to be published in Munhak kwa jisong (Literature and Intellect), one of two key journals which championed the intellectual and literary movement against the US-backed military dictatorships of Park Chung Hee and Chun Doo Hwan in the 1970s and 80s. She has since won numerous literary prizes, and was the first woman to receive the coveted Midang (2006) and Kim Su-yong (1998) awards named after two major modern poets. Midang was a poet who stood for ‘pure poetry’ (sunsusi) while Kim Su-yong’s poetry is closely associated with ‘engaged poetry’ (ch’amyosi) that displays historical consciousness. She lives in Seoul and teaches creative writing at the Seoul Institute of the Arts. She has published three selections of her work in the US with Action Books, Mommy Must Be a Fountain of Feathers (2008), All the Garbage of the World, Unite! (2011) and Sorrowtoothpaste Mirrorcream (2014), and one with Bloodaxe Books in the UK, I'm OK, I'm Pig! (2014), all translated by Don Mee Choi; and most recently, Don Mee Choi's translation of Autobiography of Death (New Directions, USA, 2018), winner of the International Griffin Poetry Prize in 2019.
Books by Kim Hyesoon