In May/June 2009, Asian American Poetry and Writing, based in Los Angeles, will publish a special online issue of Korean born writers adopted and living overseas. I was invited to Guest Edit this issue, and to say it was an honor is a tremendous understatement. My deepest gratitude goes to Ky-Phong Paul Tran for this wonderful opportunity. I have gathered thirteen writers, eleven of them adopted and now living in the United States, one adopted and now living in Norway, and one adopted now living in South Korea. The cover art is by artist JooYoung Choi, born in Korea and now living in Massachusetts.
This issue of all creative writing is not the first of its kind, but it is indeed one of the first in around ten years. Many of the writers I have included have garnered national and international acclaim, and I am proud to introduce several new writers whose work has never before been published. I have been working on the issue for well over six months, and I am excited that it is currently in the layout process. The fantastic editor at Asian American Poetry and Writing tells me it will be complete in about a month, late May or early June.
In addition to a generous sampling from each of the thirteen writers, the issue will feature three authors: Jane Jeong Trenka, Sun Yung Shin, and Jennifer Kwon Dobbs. I am thrilled that the issue will publish, for the first time in print, an excerpt from Jane Jeong Trenka’s highly anticipated memoir, Fugitive Visions (forthcoming from Graywolf Press in June 2009), the follow-up to The Language of Blood. Also, the issue will feature new, breathtaking poems from Dobbs and Shin. Over the winter of 2008, I asked Trenka, Shin, and Dobbs to correspond over e-mail and ruminate on questions of their writing process, history, community, and Korea. The result is an eye-opening and inspiring conversation (of over twenty pages) between three of the best writers at work today. This conversation will be in the issue as well, and I guarantee you—you won’t want to miss it.
Please keep an eye out for its publication. Spread the word, please. The quality of writing, the variation of experience and aesthetics, and the depth of spirit in the writers’ work will astonish you. Individually, the writers are treasures. Collectively, they represent a gorgeous and vital voice.
The issue will include:
Thomas Marco Blatt
Emily Han-Young Hurd
Jennifer Kwon Dobbs
Beth Kyong Lo
Sun Yung Shin
Sun Mee Chomet
Jane Jeong Trenka
(Pre-order Fugitive Visions here)