Afternoon of Poetry with Ko Un

Poetry Reading by Ko Un

Location: Science & Engineering Hall B1270 - 800 22nd Street NW

Date: Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Time: 2:50 PM - 5:00 PM; 2:30 PM Doors Open

Event will be followed by reception in B1167

RSVP- registration required due to limited space

Renowned Korean poet, Ko Un, will be featured in a poetry reading event hosted by the George Washington University. Ko Un is one of Korea’s most prolific and popular poets. He has published 155 books, of which about 70 are poetry books. More than 50 volumes of his work have been translated into over 30 languages. Winner of some 20 prestigious literary awards, he is frequently mentioned as a contender for a Nobel Literature prize. He will be introduced by his translator, Brother Anthony, Professor Emeritus of Sogang University. A brief commentary will be offered by Frank Stewart, Professor at the University of Hawai’i and editor of Mānoa, a Pacific Journal of International Writing, since 1989. The reading will be presented in both Korean and English. There will be time for the audience to interact with the poet, followed by a reception.


Program Schedule:

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

2:30 - 2:45PM          Registration

2:50 - 3:00 PM         Opening Remarks (Ben Vinson, III, Dean, CCAS)

3:00 - 3:10 PM         Introduction of the Poet Ko Un & his Works by Brother Anthony - Professor Emeritus, Sogang University, Seoul

3:10 - 4:00 PM         Poetry Reading by Ko Un with English Translation Presented by Brother Anthony

4:00 - 4:20 PM         Commentary on Ko Un’s Works by Frank Stewart - Professor of English, University of Hawai’i; Editor of Mānoa: a Pacific Journal of International Writing

4:20 - 4:50 PM         Q&A

4:50 - 5:00 PM         Concluding Remarks by Young-Key Kim-Renaud, Professor Emeritus, GWU

5:00 - 5:45 PM         Reception

Picture of Ko Un speaking.


Speaker Bios

Ko Un | Born in 1933 in Gunsan, North Jeolla Province, South Korea, Ko Un made his official debut as a poet in 1958 when he was living as a Buddhist monk practicing  Sŏn/Chan/Zen meditation. His first collection was published in 1960, and he returned to the world in 1962. After years of dark nihilism, he became a leading spokesman in the struggle for freedom and democracy in Korea during the 1970s and 1980s, for which he was often arrested and imprisoned. He has published more than 150 volumes of poems, essays, and fiction, etc. including the 7-volume epic Mount Paektu and the monumental 30-volume Maninbo (Ten Thousand Lives) series of over 4000 poems. Ko Un has received some 20 prestigious literary awards, honors and fellowships at home and abroad, and more than 50 volumes of translations of his work have been published in over 30 languages. He is currently President of the Compilation Committee of the Grand Inter-Korean Dictionary.

Brother Anthony (An Sonjae) | Brother Anthony of Taizé was born in Cornwall (UK) in 1942. He has been living in Korea since 1980. He is an Emeritus Professor of Sogang University and Chair-Professor at Dankook University. He is also currently President of the Royal Asiatic Society Korea Branch. He has published over forty volumes of translations of Korean literature, mostly poetry, including 10 volumes of works by Ko Un. Other recent publications include works by Yi Mun-yol, Jeong Ho-seung, Oh Sae-Young and Shim Bo-Seon. He took Korean citizenship in 1994 – An Sonjae is his official Korean name. He received the Korean government’s Award of Merit in October 2008 for promoting knowledge of Korean literature in the world. In 2012 he was awarded an honorary MBE by Queen Elizabeth for his contributions to Korea-British relations.

Frank Stewart | Frank Stewart is Professor of English at the University of Hawai̔i. Since 1989, he has twice yearly edited MĀNOA, A Pacific Journal of International Writing, published by the University of Hawaii Press ( He has also published six books of his own work and eight additional anthologies on literature of Asia and the Pacific.