Ko Un and Harry Man, winners of 2014 Struga Poetry Evenings
Struga Poetry Evenings, which recognizes world famous poets for their lifelong achievements, goes this year to the most prolific South Korean poet. Author of over 130 books, Ko Un (1933) was strongly influenced by the massacres of the Korean War (1950-1953) and he entered the Buddhist Order in 1952. He came out, a decade later, and decided to devote his life to poetry. "I wanted to become a poet. I became a poet," he uses to say. He considers his poems "like whispers rather than screams."
Harry Man (UK), with his debutant book Lift, is this year’s winner of the "Bridges of Struga". This award, launched ten years ago with the participation of UNESCO, is reserved for poets under 35 years old. "The poets were wrong: the ocean is not unkillable, the snow is not eternal," says this young man whose poetry oscillates between science and love, between the conquest of the Space and the conquest of Intimacy, between worlds which are irreconcilable everywhere except in poetry.
UNESCO has partnered with the Struga Poetry Festival since 2003, and took part in the celebration of its 50th anniversary, in 2011.
Information about the poets:
The official website of Ko Un is available here (in English).
Listen to the special BBC report released on January 21, 2014.
Some poems of Harry Man, in English, are available below:
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