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Hardly War, Don Mee Choi's major second collection, defies history, national identity, and militarism. Using artifacts from Choi's father, a professional photographer during the Korean and Vietnam wars, she combines memoir, image, and opera to explore her paternal relationship and heritage. Here poetry and geopolitics are inseparable twin sisters, conjoined to the belly of a warring empire. Like fried potato chips -- I believe so, utterly so -- The hush-hush proving ground was utterly proven as history -- Hardly=History -- I believe so, eerily so -- hush hush -- Now watch this performance -- Bull's-eye -- An uncanny human understanding on target -- Absolute=History -- loaded with terrifying meaning -- The Air Force doesn't say, hence Ugly=Narration -- Don Mee Choi is the author of 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. She was born in Seoul and came to the United States via Hong Kong. She now lives in Seattle, Washington.
Product Details

Table of Contents

Hardly War Race=Nation Photo: Taedong River Bridge & Flight of Refugees /A Little Glossary Woe Are You? 6.25 Photo: With her brother on her back/ I refuse to translate 1950 June 28: The Fall of Seoul Photo: With my brother on my back/ I Was Narrowly Narrator The Hydrangean Candidate Photo: August 15, 1948/ A Little Menu Hydrangea Agenda Suicide Parade Photo: There is no sky only visual aid A Little Confession Double Hence Ugly=Nation Please! Purely Illustrative New Tarzon Guided Bomb/Bomb with a Brain The Tarzon's Guide to History/Victory=Narration Photo: Refugee Girl Daisy Girl I, Lack-a-daisy Daisy Serenade Kitty Hawk Postcard Daddy's Flower Bed: A Little Chorus Shitty Kitty Neocolony's Colony Operation Punctum Hardly Opera Photos: My Father in Saigon, May 1968/ A Little Paper Closet Act 1. I was surprised! Act 2. What's going on? OK OK Act 3. Everybody was there Act 4. U.S. Ambassador's garden party First Stage Scene Second Stage Scene Act 5. Madam Kim! Act 6. Pyongyang Excursion 1950 Act 8. Flower of All Flowers Notes Acknowledgements

Trailer

Promotional Information

Co-op available. Galley and review copy mailing to major trade and print publications such as The New Yorker, The New York Times, Harper's, Poets & Writers, Bookforum, and the Boston Review. Advertising in Bookforum select library and academic trade catalogs. Readings at AWP in 2016 and in Seattle. Excerpt on Poets.org.

About the Author

Don Mee Choi is the author of 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. She was born in Seoul and came to the U.S. via Hong Kong. She now lives in Seattle.

Reviews

Choi's use of hybrid forms poetry, memoir, opera libretto, images and artifacts from her father's -career as a photojournalist in the Korean and Vietnam Wars--lets her explore themes of injustice and empire, history and identity, sifting through the detritus of family, translation, propaganda and dislocation. Kathleen Rooney, The New York Times Sunday Book Review Playful and complex...Choi's poetry operates within a tradition of Korean-American experimental poets that includes Theresa Hak Kyung Cha and Myung Mi Kim. Choi's zany take on militarism and the Korean diaspora may seem absurdist, but it is an inventive and daring waltz that upends what is commonly understood as the 'Forgotten War.' Publishers Weekly While imperial history relishes mythmaking and triumphalism at the expense of the human and psychological costs of war, Choi revels in history's untold spaces. Lizzie Tribone, BOMB This book's sort of rogue clarity hinges on the poet's relationship with her father. Essentially, we experience the destabilizing effects of US-ROK entanglement as coherent because this relationship sutures time and space. His award-winning photographs of the war suffuse the pages. Caitie Moore, The Poetry Project Newsletter

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