UK newspaper to spotlight Korean poems in regular feature

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Feb 7, 2017 - 21:32
  • Updated : Feb 7, 2017 - 21:33

Korean poems will become a regular feature in the Guardian newspaper this year.

The poems -- selected in partnership with Asymptote, a website specializing in translations of literature -- will be featured on the “Translation Tuesdays” corner of the British daily.

The works of seven Korean poets, including Kim Ki-taek, Moon Tae-jun, Yoo An-jin and Choi Seung-ja, will be introduced this year, according to the Literature Translation Institute of Korea which jointly manages the project with Asymptote.

A screen capture of the Translation Tuesdays section of the Guardian, featuring poems by Choi Seung-ja. (Literature Translation Institute of Korea)

“The corner will put the limelight on Korea’s unexplored poems before global eyes, and act as a channel for the authors’ publication overseas,” according to the institute.

The work will be carried out by translators Kim Ray, Yang Eun-mi, Hannah Pang and others, who receive support from the institute. Professor emiritus Brother Anthony of Sogang University in Seoul and professor Chung Eun-gwi of Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in Seoul will supervise the translations.

The corner, which started in 2015, has showcased poet Kim Seung-hee’s “In Poetry’s Emergency Room” and an excerpt from novelist Hwang Jung-eun’s “One Hundred Shadows,” among others.

On Jan. 24, “Translation Tuesdays” presented three poems by Choi Seung-ja -- “Two Kinds of Death,” “At the End of the Deserted Street” and “Fearful Green” -- which vivify the “existential despair and dreamlike descriptions of nature” through her feminist lens. Literary translator Lei Kim translated the poems.

Since its launch in 2010, the Asymptote Journal has hosted some 30 literary events in major cities worldwide, and publishes newsletters with the latest information on global literature trends, attracting over 50,000 followers. As an emerging translation-focused publication, Asymptote won the International Literary Translation Initiative at the London Book Fair in 2015.

By Joel Lee (