Notes from the Divided Country by Suji Kwock Kim

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Winner of the 2002 Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets. In her first collection, Suji Kwock Kim confronts a number of very difficult subjects-colonialism, the Korean War, emigration, racism, and love. She considers what a homeland would be for a divided nation and a divided self: what it means to enter language, the body, the family, the community; to be a daughter, sister, lover, citizen, or exile. In settings form New York to San Francisco, from Scotland to Seoul, her poems question "what threads hold / our lives together" in cities and gardens, and battlefields and small towns. Across the no-man's-land between every "you" and "I," her speakers encounter, quarrel with, or honor others, traveling between the living and dead, between horror over the disastrous events of the past and hope for the future. Drawing upon a wide range of voices, styles, and perspectives, Notes from the Divided Country bears witness to the vanishing world. Here is a rare new talent in American poetry, showcased in this dazzling debut. Whatever you meant to love, in meaning to You changed yourself: you are not who you are, Your soul cut moment to moment by a blade Of fresh desire, the ground sown with abandoned skins. And at your inmost circle, what? A core that is Not one. Poor fool, you are divided at the heart, Lost in its maze of chambers, blood, and love, A heart that will one day beat you to death.

-from "Monologue for an Onion"


About Suji Kwock Kim

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Suji Kwock Kim's poems have appeared in The Nation, The New Republic, Paris Review, Poetry, Yale Review, DoubleTake, Asian-American Poetry: The Next Generation, and other journals and anthologies. The recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Fulbright Program, and winner of The Nation / "Discovery" Award, Kim divides her time between San Francisco and New York
Published April 1, 2003 by Louisiana State University Press. 80 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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Winner of the Academy of American Poets' Walt Whitman Award, Kim's debut documents "Generation," "Occupation," "Hwajon" ("Fire-field"), "Resistance," "Drunk Metaphysics," the "Korean Community Garden in Queens" and 30 other hotly contested, deeply resonant sites, "A surf of objects that beat agai...

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