Born in Seoul, South Korea, Don Mee Choi is the author of DMZ Colony (Wave Books, 2020), Hardly War (Wave Books, 2016), The Morning News Is Exciting (Action Books, 2010), and several chapbooks and pamphlets of poems and essays. She has received a Whiting Award, Lannan Literary Fellowship, Lucien Stryk Translation Prize, and DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Fellowship. She has translated several collections of Kim Hyesoon's poetry, including Autobiography of Death (New Directions, 2018), which received the 2019 International Griffin Poetry Prize.
Choi’s hybrid structure allows her, in some sense, to have it both ways—to look at her subjects while simultaneously, and paradoxically, showing that some subjects are just too big to see in full: war, your parents’ life before and without you, your government and its decisions.
—Kathleen Rooney, The New York Times Sunday Book Review
Formally, Don Mee Choi is an inheritor of Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, whose seminal Dictee (1982) has had a major impact on contemporary innovative American poetry. Yet Choi innovates on Cha’s decades-old example. Choi’s work releases new-media energy; it moves at fiber optic speed as it to struggles to find terms for our 21st century experience of globalized media, especially as such media affects our sense of history, commodity, violence, politics, terror, and freedom.
—Joyelle McSweeney, Montevidayo
Don Mee Choi writes about violence and injustice in modalities that are neither sentimental, obvious, or pornographic.
Her writing has showed me that discomfort is neither cruel nor condemnation, but a passageway towards freedom, or towards becoming feral, or freely frayed.
—Christine Shan Shan Hou, Lit Hub
Choi reverses Seamus Heaney’s line that ‘hope and history rhyme’ on the far side of revenge: her historicising, her drawing attention to a need for revenge or a reckoning forgotten in mainstream US culture, sees translation and tragedy chime.
—Dougal McNeill, Overland
Reviews of books by Don Mee Choi
DMZ Colony (forthcoming)
Don Mee Choi's website
- Three Poems (at Lit Hub)
- “Diary of a Botanist” (in Trout)
- “The Hydrangean Candidate” (in The Spiral Orb)
- “From noon – to all surviving Butterflies” (in Everyday Genius)
- “Weaver in Exile” (in Le Petite Zine)
- “Diary of Return” (in THEthe Poetry)
- “I, Lack-a-daisy” (in Action Yes)
- Poems and essay by Yi Yon-ju (in Artful Dodge)
- Four poems by Kim Hyesoon (in Genius)
- Five poems by Kim Hyesoon (in The Ampersand Review)
- Four poems by Kim Hyesoon (in Modern Poetry in Translation)
- “By the River of Formalin – Day Thirty Three” by Kim Hyesoon (in Evening Will Come)
- Two poems by Kim Hyesoon (in The Journal Petra)
- “Darkness—Translation—Migration” (at The Poetry Foundation)
- “Womb 8691945” (in Evening Will Come)
- PEN America, with Lauren Cerand
- Lantern Review Blog, with Wendy Chin-Tanner
- The Conversant, with H.L. Hix
- International Examiner, with Susan Rich
- BOMB, with Christian Hawkey
- The Margins, with Emily Yoon
Reviews of Translated Work
- “All the Garbage of the World, Unite!” by Sueyeun Juliette Lee (in Constant Critic)
- “Sorrowtoothpaste Mirrorcream” by Mia Yau (in Bookforum)
- “The Landscape's Gaze” by Dougall McNeil (in Overland Literary Journal)
- “A Feminist Ontology of Ooziness: On Kim Hyesoon” by Deborah Schwartz (in The Critical Flame)
- Reading for Machine Project's Mystery Theater Poetry Archives:
- Reading at the Hedreen Gallery in Seattle on February 3, 2012
- Reading at UCSD in 2012
- Reading at Brown University for the Writers on Writing Reading Series in 2015
- Reading from The Morning News Is Exciting (Action Books, 2010) at PennSound
- Reading selections from DMZ Colony on lyrikline
Reading poems from The Morning News Is Exciting (Action Books, 2010):