Brother Anthony, Young-moo Kim, Gary Gach
& Ko Un

First-Person Sorrowful

First-Person Singular and Tomorrow from Songs for Tomorrow (Green Integer; March 2008)

Ko Un Born in 1933 in Gunsan, North Jeolla Province, Ko Un is Korea's foremost living writer. After immense suffering during the Korean War, he became a Buddhist monk. His first poems were published in 1958, then a few years later he returned to the world. He became a leading spokesman in the struggle for freedom and democracy during the 1970s and 1980s, in a struggle for which he was often arrested and imprisoned. He has published more than 120 volumes of poems, essays, and fiction. In recent years, selections from his work have been translated into at least fourteen languages, including 5 volumes so far published in English: The Sound of My Waves (Cornell EAS) and Beyond Self: Zen Poems (Parallax) were published in the 1990s, Little Pilgrim (Parallax) and Ten Thousand Lives (Green Integer) have been published in 2005. Abiding Places, Korea and North (Tupelo), Flowers of a Moment (BOA Editions, Ltd.), and Three Way Tavern: Selected Poems (UC Press), 2006. He has been invited to talk and give readings of his work at major poetry and literary festivals in numerous countries, and has been nominated for a Nobel several times. Website:

Brother Anthony of Taizé was born in Truro (Cornwall, UK) in 1942. He’s one of the foremost living translators of contemporary Korean poetry, with over 26 titles to his credit. Besides Ko Un, he’s translated books of poetry by Ku Sang, Kim Kwang-kyu, Midang, Ch’on Sang-pyong, Shin Kyong-nim, Kim Su-young, Lee Si-young, Chonggi Mah, as well as fiction by Yi Mun-yol and Lee Oyoung, and nonfiction by Mok Sun-ok. He is currently Emeritus Professor, Department of English Language and Literature at Sogang Univesity, Seoul, where he has taught since 1980. Has written numerous books and articles about English literature. He was honored with the Republic of Korea Literary Award for Translation, the Korean PEN Translation Prize, and the Paeksok Literary Award. Website:

Young-moo Kim (b. 1944 - 2001, Korea) was Professor at Seoul National University, and well-known in Korea as a literary critic and poet. He published three volumes of poetry. Together with Brother Anthony, he translated and published poems by Ch'on Sang-Pyong, Kim Kwang-kyu, So Chong-Ju, and Shin Kyong-Nim, as well as Ko Un. Website:

Gary Gach , born in Los Angeles (1947), is editor of What Book!? ~ Buddha Poems from Beat to Hiphop (Parallax Press; American Book Award) and author of Preparing the Ground: Poems 1960-1970 (Heirs, International) and The Complete Idiot's Guide to Understanding Buddhism (Alpha Books). His poems and translations have been published in numerous magazines, and anthologies, including American Poetry Review, Big Bridge, The Book of Luminous Things (Czeslaw Milosz, editor), City Lights Review, Code of Signals(Michael Palmer, editor), Hambone, Invisible Cities, Poems for the Millennium, Renditions, Salamagundi, Technicians of the Sacred, Two Lines, WchWay, World Poetry (Clifton Fadiman, editor), and Zyzzyva.

Our translations of Ko Un have appeared in Americas Review, Brick, BuddhaDharma, Cafe Review, Calque, Harvard Divinity Bulletin, Inquiring Mind, Jacket, Lilipoh, Manoa, Mantis, The Nation, New American Writing, New College Review, The New Yorker, Poetry Bay, Stony Thursday, Tricycle, Turning Wheel, Two Lines, Urthona, Witness, Words without Borders, World Literature Today, and the forthcoming anthologies Language for a New Century(Norton) and Poetry Inspired by Art [tentativetitle] (Abrams).