Stryk Shortlist: Sorrowtoothpaste Mirrorcream by Kim Hyesoon translated by Don Mee Choi

Sorrowtoothpaste MirrorcreamSorrowtoothpaste Mirrorcream
by Kim Hyesoon (Korea)
Translated from the Korean by Don Mee Choi
(Action Books)

Experimental Korean poet Kim Hyesoon’s work is shocking, liberating, brutal, grotesque, burlesque, gurlesque. Published by the aptly-named Action Books, Sorrowtoothpaste Mirrorcream has Kim’s longtime translator Don Mee Choi bringing this into an English that will not only jolt readers, but hopefully jolt them out of a stagnant vision of what Korean and Asian poetry represents: “We return as hot pigs / We return for our final act / The act in which our fingers even before we lie down in our coffins”

The Lucien Stryk Asian Translation Prize recognizes the importance of Asian translation for international literature and promotes the translation of Asian works into English. Lucien Stryk was an internationally acclaimed translator of Japanese and Chinese Zen poetry, renowned Zen poet himself, and former professor of English at Northern Illinois University. Information about the prize is available on the ALTA website. Judges for the 2015 Lucien Stryk Asian Translation Prize are Lucas Klein, Janet Poole, and Stephen Snyder.

The award-winning book and translator for 2015 will be announced on October 28th at the 38th annual conference of the American Literary Translators Association in Tucson, AZ and receive a $5,000 award. Information on the conference is available online:

Follow our blog (, on Twitter (@LitTranslate), or on Facebook ( for the announcement of the winn

About Erica Mena

Erica Mena is a Puerto Rican poet, translator, and book artist. Pronouns: they/them.
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