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DMZ Colony

By Don Mee Choi
Publication Date: April 7, 2020

ISBN# 9781940696959 (6.75x9, 152pp, paperback)
ISBN# 9781940696966 (6.75x9, 152pp, limited edition hardcover)

  • Finalist for the National Book Award

    Woven from poems, prose, photographs, and drawings, Don Mee Choi's DMZ Colony is a tour de force of personal and political reckoning set over eight acts. Evincing the power of translation as a poetic device to navigate historical and linguistic borders, it explores Edward Said's notion of "the intertwined and overlapping histories" in regards to South Korea and the United States through innovative deployments of voice, story, and poetics. Like its sister book, Hardly War, it holds history accountable, its very presence a resistance to empire and a hope in humankind.

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  • "Choi admits to being a “compulsive translator,” but some things cannot be translated or even spoken. The scribbles stand in for the unspeakable...they say, our rage and grief are not in excess. It’s excess as a corrective."–Elisa Gabbert, the New York Times

    "Choi’s DMZ Colony is as much an entity as it is a place, a meta-discursive domain wherein its throng of unlikely inhabitants—endangered birds, political prisoners, orphans, refugees, all colonized subjects and outcasts of empire—are alternately declared and concealed. Collectively, they indeed amount to a colony of sorts, one that thrives off its own premise."—Jed Munson, the Chicago Review of Books

    "This way of seeing, at once prophetic and hardboiled, weaves through all her poetry."—E. Tammy Kim, Poetry Foundation

  • 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.



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