Heo Su-gyeong


"Timehill" and "A Long Time Ago Some King Died," first appeared in Time of Bronze, Time of Potatoes (2005), an antiwar poetry collection by South Korean writer, translator, and archaeologist Heo Su-gyeong. Heo was politicized in college by the pro-democratic protests against South Korea’s violent, repressive military dictatorship throughout the 1980s. Her poetry, which reckons with the historical roots of that violence, earned her a reputation as one of the leading poets of her generation, alongside Kim Hyesoon and Choi Seungja. Heo moved to Germany in 1992, where she received a doctorate in Near Eastern Studies and resided until her death in 2018. At the time the United States invaded Iraq in 2003, Heo was excavating the ruins of the city of Babylon.

Soje is a poet and the translator of Lee Hyemi’s Unexpected Vanilla (Tilted Axis Press, 2020), Choi Jin-young’s To the Warm Horizon (Honford Star, 2021), and Lee Soho’s Catcalling (Open Letter Books, 2021). They also make chogwa, a quarterly e-zine featuring one Korean poem and multiple English translations.
Originally published:
September 18, 2023


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