Ko Un wins prestigious poetry award

By Claire Lee
  • Published : Jan 21, 2014 - 19:27
  • Updated : Jan 21, 2014 - 19:27
Poet Ko Un. (The Korea Herald)
Renowned poet Ko Un has been selected as the 2014 winner of the Golden Wreath, one of the most prestigious awards for poets given by Struga Poetry Evenings, an international poetry festival held annually in Struga, Republic of Macedonia.

The festival was first founded in 1962, and the Golden Wreath international award was established in 1966. The first recipient was Soviet poet Robert Ivanovich Rozhdestvensky (1932-1994), who is considered one of the pioneers of poetry in the former Soviet Union.

Other past recipients of the award include several Nobel Prize laureates in literature, such as Pablo Neruda, Eugenio Montale, Seamus Heaney and Joseph Brodsky.

Born in Gunsan, North Jeolla Province, in 1933, Ko is considered one of the most acclaimed living poets in Korea. The former Buddhist monk’s works have been translated and published in more than 15 countries. His poetry ranges from short lyric poems to the vast epic, 30-volume “Maninbo” (The Thousand Lives).

In 2011, he published two collections of poems, including “Sanghwa: Love of a Planet,” which he dedicated to his wife, Chung-Ang University professor Lee Sang-hwa. His latest collection of poems is called “Untitled,” published in December.

The official awards ceremony will be held during the upcoming edition of the festival in August.

By Claire Lee (