Cheer Up, Femme Fatale
by Kim Yideum
Poetry, Translation, Korean Literature Studies
Release Date: February 2016
“In Kim Yideum‘s elegant and grotesque poetry, objective cool, violence and despairing megalomania all rage with the crystal-clear bitterness of vulnerability. When you read her beautiful, terrifying poems, you will go to pieces.”
— Aase Berg
“Kim Yi-Deum’s poetry is the landscape of confession. The confession flows inside the landscape and the landscape soars inside the confession.
These two elements of her poetry are interconnected in the way eros gets pulled up to the divine place.
Her poetry appears as poetry, it also appears as prose.
As poetry, it’s polyphonic, and as prose, it’s defiant.
Her poetry is the theater of multiple personality.
You hear the voices of hundreds of people, hundreds of things. These naked living things become her poetic subjects.
In each poem, the different sensations of each body are invented.
She punishes herself and accepts her own unsightly, gutless face.
Her poetry is engaged in the difficult process of discovering the other inside her.
Her rhythm, which emerges from the fishnet of interconnections, bites power and sets her free. “
— Kim Hyesoon
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kim Yideum has published five books of poetry – A Stain in the Shape of a Star (2005), Cheer up, Femme Fatale (2007), The Unspeakable Lover (2011), Song of Berlin, Dahlem (2013), and Hysteria (2014) – and the novel Blood Sisters (2011). Her work has been adapted into a play (The Metamorphosis, 2014) and a film (After School, 2015). She has received numerous awards for her poetry, including the Poetry & the World Literary Award (2010), the Kim Daljin Changwon Award (2011), the 22nd Century Literary Award (2015) and the Kim Chunsoo Award (2015). She read at the Stockholm International Poetry Festival in 2014 and Biennale Internationale des Poètes en Val-de-Marne in 2015. Having received her PhD for a thesis on Korean feminist poetics, she teaches at Gyeongsang National University. She is also a newspaper columnist and hosts a poetry-themed radio program. In 2012, she held a residency at the Free University of Berlin as part of the Writer-in Residence Abroad Program of the Arts Council Korea (ARKO). Kim is currently finalizing her book of interviews with homeless people in Paris, as well as writing a new book of poems and essays, while in residence at the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia.
ABOUT THE TRANSLATORS
Ji Yoon Lee is the author of Foreigner’s Folly (Coconut Books, 2014), Funsize/Bitesize (Birds of Lace, 2013), and IMMA (Radioactive Moat, 2012). She is the winner of the Joanna Cargill Prize (2014), and her manuscript was a finalist for the 1913 First Book Prize (2012). Her poems and translations have appeared in Asymptote, Eleveneleven, The Volta, PANK, Bambi Muse, Seven Corners, The YOLO Pages, The Animated Reader: Poetry of Surround Audience, and &Now Awards 3. She was born in South Korea and came to the United States as a teen. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Notre Dame.
Don Mee Choi is the author of Hardly War (Wave Books, 2016), The Morning News Is Exciting (Action Books, 2010), and a translator of contemporary Korean women poets. She is the recipient of the 2011 Whiting Writers Award in Poetry 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 and shortlisted for ALTA’s Lucien Stryk Asian Translation Prize. 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.
Johannes Göransson was born and raised in Sweden. He is the author of six books of poetry, most recently The Sugar Book (Tarpaulin Sky Press, 2015), and the translator of six books, including work by Aase Berg, Johan Jönson and Henry Parland. He is the co-editor of Action Books and teaches at the University of Notre Dame.