On June 11 at 7:30 pm CET, Kim Hyesoon will deliver the keynote lecture "Tongueless Mother Tongue," on the last days of the Fourth Republic (1972-1979), a time of economic prosperity and state repression in South Korea. Kim Hyesoon witnessed government censorship as an editor at a publishing house. She watched in the audience as a wordless play from which all lines had been censored was performed. From this experience – the death of the tongue, before actual death – she develops a poetics of her own writing in the sign of absence. For Kim Hyesoon, poets connect with their deaths, using spirit voices that precede language and are capable of absorbing other voices and sounds. Her poetry creates a rich register between silence, sighs, screams, and groans. Reading a poem, on the other hand, becomes like breathing in spirits, putting readers in a state of obsession.
On June 12th at 3:30 pm CET, translators Don Mee Choi, Uljana Wolf, and Sool Park will join Kim Hyesoon for a reading from her collection Autobiography of Death.