Ko Un is the winner of the „Golden Wreath“ 2014 of the international festival "Struga poetry evenings"

220px-Svět_knihy_2011_-_Ko_Un-180x240The Board of the SPE this year unanimously made the decision to declare the South Korean poet, Ko Un as the winner of the “Golden Wreath” of the 53nd edition of the world renowned poetic manifestation “Struga Poetry Evenings” for 2014.

By awarding the “Golden Wreath” of SPE for 2014 award to Ko Un, the “Struga Poetry Evenings” once again establish their high goal – to preserve the spiritual unity of the world through differences, and to prove that the poetic language is unique, universal and comprising of all the spoken languages of the world.

Ko Un was born in 1933, which means that today he is nearer 80 than 70. He is surely Korea’s most prolific writer and he himself cannot say for sure how many books he has published in all. He guesses that it must be about 140, volumes of many different kinds of poetry, epic, narrative, and lyric, as well as novels, plays, essays, and translations from classical Chinese.

In the last two decades he has made journeys to many parts of the world, including Australia, Vietnam, the Netherlands, Mexico, Sweden, Venice, Istanbul . . . He makes a deep impression wherever he goes, especially when he is reading his poems in the husky, tense, dramatic manner he favors. It seems to make little or no difference that most of his audience cannot understand a word he is saying. He speaks little or no English but time after time a deep communication is established before anyone reads an English translation or summary of what he had been saying. After the drama of his own performance, the translations usually sound rather flat.

  • Books of Poems

Other World Sensibility(1960), Seaside Poems(1966), God, the Last Village of Language(1967), Senoya, Senoya: Little Songs(1970), On the Way to Munui Village(1977), Going into Mountain Seclusion(1977), Early Morning Road(1978), Homeland Stars(1984), Pastoral Poems(1986), Fly High, Poems!(1986), The Person Who Should Leave(1986), Your Eyes(1988), My Evening(1988), The Grand March of That Day(1988), Morning Dew(1990), For Tears(1991), One Thousand Years’ Cry and Love: Lyrical Poems of Paektu Mountain(1990), Sea Diamond Mountain(1991), What?—Zen Poems(1991), Songs on the Street(1991), Song of Tomorrow(1992) The Road Not Yet Taken(1993), Songs for ChaRyong(1997), Dokdo Island(1995), Ten Thousand Lives, 20 Volumes(1986-1997), Paektu Mountain: An Epic, 7 Volumes(1987-94), A Memorial Stone (1997), Whispering(1998), Far, Far Journey(1999), South and North(2000), The Himalayas(2000), Flowers of a Moment(2001). Poems Left Behind (2002).

  • Novels

Cherry Tree in Other World(1961), Eclipse(1974), A Little Traveler(1974), Night Tavern: A Collection of Short Stories(1977), A Shattered Name (1977), The Wandering Souls: Hansan and Seupduk (1978), A Certain Boy: A Collection of Short Stories(1984), The Garland Sutra (Little Pilgrim)(1991), Their Field(1992) The Desert I Made(1992), Chongsun Arirang(1995), The Wandering Poet Kim, 3 volumes(1995), Zen: A Novel, 2 Volumes(1995), Sumi Mountain, 2 volumes(1999)

  • Collections of Essays

Born to be Sad(1967), Sunset on the G-String(1968), Things that Make Us Sad(1968), Where and What Shall We Meet Again?—A Message of Despair(1969), An Era is Passing(1971), 1950s(1973), For Disillusionment(1976), Intellectuals in Korea(1976), The Sunset on the Ghandis(1976), A Path Secular(1977), With History, With Sorrow(1977), For Love(1978), For Truth(1978), For the Poor(1978), Penance to the Horizon(1979), My Unnamable Spiritual(1979), Flowers from Suffering(1986), Flow, Water(1987), Ko Un’s Correspondence(1989), The Leaves Become Blue Mountain(1989), Wandering and Running at Full Speed(1989), History is Dreaming(1990), How I Wandered from Field to Field(1991), The Diamond Sutra I Experience(1993), Meditation in the Wilderness(1993), Truth-Seeker(1993), I Will Not Be Awakened(1993), At the Living Plaza(1997), Morning with Poetry(1999)

  • Travel Books

Old Temples: My Pilgrimage, My Country(1974), Cheju Island(1975), A Trip to India(1993), Mountains and Rivers, My Mountains and Rivers(1999),

Works of Literary Criticism

Literature and People(1986), Poetry and Reality(1986), Twilight and Avant-Garde(1990),

  • Biography

A Critical Biography of Yi Jooung-Sup(1973), A Critical Biography of the Poet Yi Sang(1973), A Critical Biography of Han Yong-Un(1975)

  • Autobiography

Son of Yellow Soil: My Childhood(1986), I, Ko Un, 3 Volumes (1993)

  • Translations

Selected Poems of the Tang Dynasty(1974), Selected Poems of Tufu(1974),

Chosa: Selected Poems by Kulwon(1975)

  • Editions

Several works of old Korean poetry and songs.

To say nothing of some Children’s Books

  • Awards

Korean Literature Prize(1974)
Korean Literature Prize(1987)
Manhae Prize in Literature(1989)
Joong-Ang Prize for Literature(1991)
Daesan Prize for Literature(1994)
Honorary resident of Jeong Seon County, KangWon Province (1997)
Manhae Grand Prize(1998)
Buddhist Literature Prize(1999)
The Republic of Korea’s Silver Order of Merit in Culture (2002)
Danjae Prize(2004)
Unification Award(2005)
Bjornson Order for Literature, the only Norwegian Order for Literary Merits(2005)
Swedish Literary Prize ‘the Cikada Prize” (2006)
Young-Rang Poetry Award(2007)
Yusim(Mind) Literature Prize(2008)
Lifetime Achievement Prize (Griffin Fund for Excellence in Poetry, Canada, 2008)
Korea Academy of Arts Award(2008)
Honorary doctoral degree from Dankook University (2010)
Winner of The America Awards for a Lifetime Contribution to International Writing (2011)
Honorary doctoral degree from Jonbuk University (2011)
Honorary resident of Jeju Special Autonomic Province (2011)
Membership of Honor Committee of World Poetry Academy (2011)
Honorary citizenship of Gwangju Metropolitan City (2012)
Honored to be a Human Evergreen Tree (2012)
Honorary Fellow from Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Italy (2013)

About “Struga poetry evenings”

Struga Poetry Evenings (SPE) (Macedonian: Струшки вечери на поезијата, СВП; tr. Struški večeri na poezijata, SVP) is an international poetry festival held annually in Struga, Republic of Macedonia. During the several decades of its existence, the Festival has awarded its most prestigious award, the Golden Wreath, to some of the most notable international poets, including: Mahmoud Darwish, Sachchidananda Hirananda Vatsyayan Agyey , W. H. Auden, Joseph Brodsky, Allen Ginsberg, Bulat Okudzhava, Pablo Neruda, Eugenio Montale, Léopold Sédar Senghor, Artur Lundkvist, Hans Magnus Enzensberger, Nichita Stănescu, Ted Hughes, Makoto Ooka, Miroslav Krleža, Yehuda Amichai, Seamus Heaney and domestic authors such as Blaže Koneski and Mateja Matevski.

The festival began in 1961 in Struga, with macedonian poets only, while in 1963 it expanded its list of participants with poets from all around the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. By 1966 the event turned into an international cultural festival. The  “Golden Wreath” international award was established in the same year and its first recipient was Robert Rozhdestvensky. In 2003, in a close cooperation with UNESCO, the Festival established another international award called “The Bridges of Struga”, for a best debut poetry book by a young author. During its long successful existence, the festival has hosted about 4,000 poets, translators, essayists and literary critics from about 95 countries of the world.

The festival has awarded some of the world’s most eminent literary figures, including several Nobel Prize for Literature winners such as Joseph Brodsky,Eugenio Montale, Pablo Neruda and Seamus Heaney, the first African member of the French Academy Léopold Sédar Senghor who was also aPresident of Senegal, the official royal Poet Laureate Ted Hughes, W. H. Auden who is regarded by many as one of the greatest writers of the 20th century, and many others.

Source: Struga poetry evenings



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