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About this poet

Don Mee Choi was born in Seoul, South Korea, and lived in Hong Kong before moving to the United States.

She is the author of the poetry collections Hardly War (Wave Books, 2016) and The Morning News Is Exciting (Action Books, 2010). Of her work, Craig Santos Perez writes, “Choi translates feminist politics into an experimental poetry that demilitarizes, deconstructs, and decolonizes any master narrative.”

Choi is also known for her work as a translator of contemporary Korean poetry, including Kim Hyesoon’s Sorrowtoothpaste Mirrorcream (Action Books, 2014), which was a finalist for the 2015 PEN Poetry in Translation Award.

Choi is the recipient of a Lannan Literary Fellowship, a grant from the Literature Translation Institute of Korea, a Lucien Stryk Translation Prize, and a Whiting Writers Award. She currently serves as an advisory editor for Action Books: Korean Literature Series and teaches at Renton Technical College. She lives in Seattle, Washington.


Bibliography
Hardly War (Wave Books, 2016)
The Morning News Is Exciting (Action Books, 2010)

from “Hardly Opera”

—tête-à-tête of flowers—

(still at the ambassador’s garden party in the middle of Seoul)

ROSE OF SHARON

How do you do
Mr. Ambassador?

 

DECLASSIFIED FLOWER

How do you do?
Modern style?
I do

AZALEA

Overly ovaries!
General Kim
How do you do?

 

ROSE OF SHARON

One shot!
No spots!
How many baby azaleas?

UPI FLOWER

Did something happen?
The world wants to know

 

ROSE OF SHARON

Syngman Rhee has left for Hawaii
Modern style of course!

UPI FLOWER

Do petals fall and bloom again?

 

UGLY FLOWER

Tell the world
We want
Coty powder!

CHERRY BLOSSOMS

O totally tether!
Does it tatter?

 

CLASSIFIED FLOWERS

O patter matter!
Do you batter?

BABY AZALEAS

O Coty potty!
Hoity naughty

 

FORSYTHIAS

O pat her met her!
Does she natter?

ROSE OF SHARON

I’d rather batter

 

BLUE HYDRANGEAS

Yes, ma’am


—end of tête-à-tête—

From Hardly War (Wave Books, 2016). Copyright © 2016 by Don Mee Choi. Used with the permission of the author and Wave Books.

From Hardly War (Wave Books, 2016). Copyright © 2016 by Don Mee Choi. Used with the permission of the author and Wave Books.

Don Mee Choi

Don Mee Choi is the author of Hardly War (Wave Books, 2016) and The Morning News Is Exciting (Action Books, 2010). She is the recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award and the 2012 Lucien Stryk Translation Prize. She lives in Seattle.

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1950 June 27: my father heard the sound of the engine of a North Korean fighter plane, Yak-9. Foremostly and therefore barely consequently in the highest manner, he followed the

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Dear Emily,

For poetry – I have you. One need not be a House – One need not be a Nation or a Master for that matter. Delicate and beautiful, common in rich mossy woods, in pairs, we live. We are crimson-pink, particularly in the mountains. The rough terrain is not visible to many, but somewhat green and

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Wieners
Canned fruit
Crackers
Soluble coffee
Milk powder
Granulated sugar
Tin of jam
Cookie sandwich
Fudge
or
Radish Soup
Birthday Seaweed Soup
Pan-fried Spam with kimchi
Strictly lard
so
What did General Fatty eat?