An editor from Cultural Weekly asked if I had written anything about Phillip Clay or if I'd like to. This wasn't easy to write but I feel it is a necessary reflection.
The Nervous Breakdown (TNB) asked me to interview myself. I answered questions about Korean dramas, feminism and oh yes, poetry.
The enjoyment of the rights and freedoms set forth in this Olympic Charter shall be secured without discrimination of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, sexual orientation, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. – Olympic Charter, Fundamental Principles of Olympism, #6
If you’re watching the Olympics, then you probably know the name Chloe Kim. At 17, she’s the youngest to win a gold medal in the women’s snowboard halfpipe and has captured the hearts of thousands of fans on social media. I’m one of those shameless fans who has jumped on the bandwagon. So what is the value of Kim’s medal? A gold medal at the PyeongChang Olympics is valued at approximately $570. That’s an expensive piece of hardware and would be more if it were actually solid gold. In South Korea, where Kim earned her gold medal, unwed mothers receive W70,000 Korean won per month (about $66 USD) from the government. The value of an Olympic gold medal? More than eight months’ support for unwed moms.Read More
Several years ago I attended a conference in Minnesota with overseas adopted Koreans. One of the evening events was a spoken word and poetry showcase featuring only adopted Korean artists. I had been to several poetry readings but this was the first one where our perspectives and experiences were centered. My friend who had gone to poetry readings with me leaned over and said, “This is for us.” It was special, unique and amplified our voices and lives.
Since the 1950s, South Korea has produced approximately two hundred thousand overseas adopted Koreans. As we’ve entered adulthood, gathering and connecting through our shared experiences have played important roles in our identity formation and well-being. For some, writing has been a means to navigate our adoption journeys, which at times can be very isolating geographically and emotionally.
August 28, 2012: When I started writing this post a few days ago, PSY’s “Gangnam Style” had 50M+ YouTube views and has now exceeded 60M. Not only has the video gone completely viral since its mid-July release, but it has also been widely covered in the news, including CNN, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post but one of the best pieces is by Sukjong Hong. If you’re not in the know, PSY is a S. Korean entertainer whose “Gangnam Style” music video has become somewhat of an overnight sensation. If you look beyond the catchy music and dancing and bizarre style of the video, there is the parody of the moneyed and powerful.Read More
December 2, 2009: In August, 2007 in Seoul, Korea just down the hill from the Samsung-owned, grand Shilla hotel, I participated in the 1st public protest/demonstration against Korea's continued, systematic practice of exporting Korean citizens to western countries. Today, these citizens are being taken away from their families against their will and are currently being exported at the rate of 2,000 per year and upwards of $30,000 each, most of them being sent to the USRead More