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portrait of Kim Hyesoon

Kim Hyesoon

Poet Kim Hyesoon first gained critical attention in the late nineties when a wave of influential women’s poetry emerged from South Korea. Her work is full of surreal, poetic images and speaks directly to female experience, the poems resonate with daily life, grounding her sometimes experimental use of language.

In her native South Korea she is considered an important poet and critic, a landmark figure in the development of women’s poetry. Her work has been described as ‘dagger-sharp’ and has found an audience all across the world, with translations in Chinese, Dutch and Swedish.

Her poetry collections include: From another star (1981), Father's scarecrow (1984), The Hell of a certain star (1987), Our negative picture (1991), My Upanishad, Seoul (1994), A Poor Love Machine (1997), To the Calendar Factory Manager (2000), A Glass of Red Mirror (2004), Your First (2008), and Sorrowtoothpaste (2011). Kim was the first female poet to receive the Kim Su-yŏng Literature Award, Midang Award, contemporary poetry award and Daesan Literary Award.

Poems by Kim Hyesoon