Results of the Walt Whitman Award in the year 2002.
In her first collection, Suji Kwock Kim confronts some of the most difficult, most unanswerable questions—colonialism, the Korean War, emigration, racism, love. She considers what a homeland would be, for a divided nation and divided self: what it means to enter language, the body, the family, the community; to be a daughter, sister, lover, citizen or exile.
In settings from New York to San Francisco, Scotland to Seoul, her poems question “what threads hold/our lives together” in cities and gardens, battlefields and small towns. Across the no-man’s-land between every “you” and “I,” her speakers encounter, quarrel with, or honor others, traveling between the living and the dead, between horror over the disastrous events of the past, and hope for the future.
With its wide range of voices, styles and perspectives, Notes from the Divided Country bears witness to the vanishing world.