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ESPECIAL

 

 

Interview in The Margins

 

 

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"The Schooner"

 

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Poetry Foundation

 

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"Gossip" a short film by Janaki Ranpura, poem by...

"National Museum of the Soul's Vanaties" a short film by Mike Hoyt, poem by...

and other short films...

 

 

Metatranslations (City Pages)

 

 

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Interview in Lantern Review

 

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2013 Reading and Interview

 

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Because poetry is also shame donating its jewels. 

 

(Happy National Poetry Month)

 

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Returns

 

 

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Whorled Readers Guide (2012 Minnesota Book Awards)

 

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2012 American Book Award

 

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Poets.org (Summer Reading 2012)

 

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2012 National Bestsellers

 

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Poem in a Box

 

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"Notes taken in the kitchen, in the chair I’ll vacate if the cat decides she wants it: On Ed Bok Lee’s Whorled (Coffee House Press)," by Matt Mauch (from POETRY CITY, U.S.A, Vol. 2)

 

 

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2012 Minnesota Book Award in Poetry

 

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WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A MAN (full story)

 

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brief interview

 

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Ode To Bruce Lee (video)



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2012 MN Book Award finalists

 

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sneak peek:

Broadside forthcoming from Red Dragonfly Press (selected and published by editor extraordinairer, Scott King):

 

from WHORLED

On the other side of the world, there is a language I have never heard
It is beautiful, and in this dying tongue, there are words for Love and God
that resemble Bread and Wing
Or another forest language in which Mother and Knife

equal Drawer and Sing
And Island Wood is somewhere Desert Milk
And Berry, elsewhere is a Door
And if you added up all these dying words, and the people who speak them

All their memories, histories, and lessons
All their gods, jokes, rituals, and recipes
If you learned and stirred them, over and again, until
each utterance became a star, a new footprint, the marrow of a poem—


                            Ed Bok Lee



"This excerpt from the title poem of Ed Bok Lee's Whorled (Coffee House Press, 2011), a poem aimed at a "speaker in a future age" as elegy for the extinct and endangered languages of our contemporary earth, was printed on the occasion of the author's visit to St. Olaf College January 18, 2012."

 

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poem in Alison McGhee's Blog

 

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"Whorled enters fearlessly into the chaos of our social, cultural, political, and familial milieu, always with an eye toward finding the beauty among the hard truths of our situations—and fighting for them."

—Rain Taxi Review of Books, December 2011

 

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"Lee writes frequently and without irony about love and friendship—but it is not indulgent or salvific. Even at his mooniest, Lee is more than a Matthew Arnold, a figure who cannot help but take the cacophony of the world as a personal insult. If the modern world is a problem, it’s a fascinating one, both despite and because of its crimes, both large and small, and Lee does this truth better than justice. . . .Whorled is not a book of clean lines and sharp corners, a book that’s also a box. It spills and erupts and makes a mess, but its lists expand and grow, as living things do. . . .It’s fitting, because while to list does mean to enumerate, it also means to lean towards. List, which comes from the word we once used to describe what it means to love.”

Constant Critic, December 4, 2011

 

"Drawing from a well of personal experience, empathy and his fine-tuned imagination, Bok Lee sketches vivid characters caught on the fulcrum of history, where political machinations and cultural currents far outside their control meet. Mixed in with these are personal reflections and eloquent digressions: on language and poetry, on Bruce Lee, on mourning and his father’s last days, on the bittersweet tang of romantic love. Sure, there are moments when, as one reviewer put it, a few of Bok Lee’s dreamier ruminations stray off course and “lose the tune of the poetry’s music.” But such missteps pale in comparison to those moments when his insights ring startlingly true, when his vision and fearlessness pay off. . . . his poems offer a reader: naked humanity and sensuous use of language, alluring melancholy and unvarnished insight and undercurrents of tempered fury and compassion that color his every word."

Knight Arts, October 2011

 

“Although the poems (and the characters they portray) claim to have given up on salvation there is still a blind hope alive and thriving beneath the surface desperation. We recognize this hope even in the direst of situations. . . in Lee’s own sustained search for beauty and redemption in the “war dances” and “neon pyramids” of the world around him. Indeed, in the face of the traumas of the past and the oppressiveness of the present, the Altar that the personages of Whorled pray at is that of the future. This is Whorled’s most beautiful and lasting message: no matter what you have lost or compromised, the will to survive and overcome is too strong to allow for complete cynicism and hopelessness to set in.”  

phati’tude Literary Magazine, Summer 2011  

 

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MN Transit Light Rail, photos by Jessica Deutsch

 

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Play in this forthcoming anthology: Seven Contemporary Plays from the Korean Diaspora in the Americas (Duke University Press, ed. Esther Kim Lee)

 

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photo/artwork 4 and 5 by Michael Hoyt

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