The multilayered works of National Book Award-winning translator, poet, and essayist Don Mee Choi are known for holding history accountable. Her most recent book, DMZ Colony is described as “a tour de force of personal and political reckoning set over eight acts.”
As a storyteller, Choi often weaves together poems, prose, photographs, and drawings to create a palimpsest of voices that further intertwine. In these fertile overlaps, Choi creates space for these voices to converse and to question truth, fact, and imagination.
Q&A with Stefania Heim.
Born in Seoul, South Korea, Don Mee Choi is the author of DMZ Colony (Wave Books, 2020), which won the 2020 National Book Award. It was also a finalist for the 2021 T.S. Eliot Four Quartets Prize. Her other books include Hardly War (Wave Books, 2016), The Morning News Is Exciting (Action Books, 2010), and several pamphlets of poems and essays.
She has received the 2021 Guggenheim Fellowship for Poetry, 2019 International Griffin Poetry Prize for her translation of Kim Hyesoon’s Autobiography of Death (New Directions, 2018), 2019 DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Fellowship, 2016 Lannan Literary Fellowship, 2012 & 2019 Lucien Stryk Translation Prize, and 2011 Whiting Award for Poetry. More of Choi’s books, translations, and interdisciplinary arts projects can be seen on her website.
Stefania Heim, our moderator for the evening, is author of the award-winning poetry collections Hour Book (Ahsahta Press, 2019) and A Table That Goes On for Miles (Switchback Books, 2014). She is also translator of Geometry of Shadows: Giorgio de Chirico’s Italian Poems (A Public Space Books, 2019) and the recipient of an NEA Translation Fellowship. An assistant professor of English at Western Washington University, she is a founding editor of CIRCUMFERENCE: Poetry in Translation and a former poetry editor at Boston Review.