All the Garbage of the World, Unite!
by Kim Hyesoon
Translated by Don Mee Choi.
Poetry. East Asia Studies.
15 November 2011
The celebrated Korean poet Kim Hyesoon writes from a radiant black zone where matter becomes dark matter, human becomes trinket, garbage becomes god, a zero-point for our present moment’s grotesque and spectacular inversions. This volume includes a selection of recent work, the landmark poem “Manhole Humanity,” and the essay “In the Oxymoronic World.” With fiercely incisive translations and a preface by Don Mee Choi.
“Kim Hyesoon writes flowingly and choreographically a panorama of hovering hatelove for the birthing body, for cruelty and existence and for the expansive thinking and dizzyingly borderless universe-geography. Kim Hyesoon writes hatelove as a stone-hard feminist life-and-death dance. As garbage, love and death accumulate in her poems, your world will be changed for real!”
– Aase Berg
“Miraculous weaponry! Miraculous translations! This kind of undomesticated engagement and lawlessness and risk and defiance and somatic exorbitance posits a world and a relation to the world where everything excluded is included—the animal and the vegetal, the molten and the mineral, the gaseous and the liquid, not to mention shame, disgust, failure, terror, raunch. The final poem “Manhole Humanity” deserves its place alongside Césarire’s “Notebook of a Return to the Native Land” or Ginsberg’s “Howl” or Inger Christensen’s It. Kim Hyesoon’s new book is armament and salve, shield and medicinal chant. It’s here to protect us”
– Christian Hawkey
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kim Hyesoon is a prominent South Korean poet who has received numerous prestigious literary awards. She teaches creative writing at Seoul Institute of the Arts. Her work translated into English includes three titles from Action Books, Sorrowtoothpaste Mirrorcream (2014), All the Garbage of the World, Unite! (2011) and Mommy Must Be a Fountain of Feathers (2008), the chapbook When the Plug Gets Unplugged (Tinfish Press, 2005), and poems in the anthology Anxiety of Words: Contemporary Poetry by Korean Woman (Zephyr Press, 2006).
ABOUT THE TRANSLATOR
Don Mee Choi is the author of Hardly War (Wave Books, April 2016), The Morning News Is Exciting (Action Books, 2010), and translator of contemporary Korean women poets. She has received a Whiting Writers Award and the 2012 Lucien Stryk Translation Prize. Her translation of Kim Hyesoon’s Sorrowtoothpaste Mirrorcream (Action Books, 2014) was a finalist for the 2015 PEN Poetry in Translation Award. Her most recent works include a chapbook, Petite Manifesto (Vagabond Press, 2014), and a pamphlet, Freely Frayed,ㅋ=q, Race=Nation (Wave Books, 2014). She was born in Seoul and came to the U.S. via Hong Kong. She now lives in Seattle.