• Book
  • English(English)


  • Author
  • Country
    Republic of Korea
  • Publisher
  • Published Year
  • Genre
    Literature - Korean literature - Contemporary poetry



    Title: Flatfish

    Author: Moon Taejun

    Genre: Korean Literature-Contemporary Poetry


    LTI Korea staff: Alex Baek ( / +82-2-6919-7741)


  • About the book

    Flatfish is a collection of poetry written by Moon Taejun. Divided into four sections, this collection is appropriately sparse. Blank space is used stylistically, as some poems are left with their final few lines alone on their own page. This aesthetic choice emphasizes the subject matter of this collection, as Moon Taejun explores the inner-self. Filled with Buddhist ideologies, natural images, and Korean temples, this collection is an exploration of individual experiences within the context of a search for understanding a greater whole.

    About the author

    An emerging voice in South Korean literature, Moon Taejun has published a number of poetry collections in Korean (Crowded Backyard, Barefeet, Flatfish­, A Shadow’s Development, etc.). Moon Taejun is known for the simplicity of his poetic language. When compared to other Korean poets, Moon Taejun’s language is less descriptive, more reserved. His poems range from short, broken lines to longer prose-like lines. Moon Taejun’s words evoke a sense of longing, as if searching for moments in the past that to help inform the present moment. His memories are used to illuminate the present, and to make sense of the future.

    Media Response/Awards Received

    Moon Taejun’s collections (먼 것, 그늘의 발달) have been awarded this translation grant before (2009 and 2015 respectively). In terms of international recognition, Moon Taejun appears to remain within a small niche for translation. Scholarly reviews of Moon Taejun’s work are limited to Korean language articles.

    In regards to this collection’s appeal for an English-speaking audience, the simplicity of the language is both easily consumable and thematically dense. Korea is certainly the setting of these poems, yet there is not an overwhelming element of Korean cultural imagery. A reader with no background knowledge of Korea will still be able to understand the content of the poems. In this sample, I provide footnotes for the names of locations used in the original Korean poems. Ideally, these footnotes would be replaced with a visual element (photographs of the specific locations), a task I would want to undertake if given this grant. Other avenues of publication include the Cornell East Asian Series; the goal being that this translation can be used in an academic setting/within Korean to English translation curricula.

Translated Books (5)

News from Abroad (2)