MFA in Creative Writing News: Don Mee Choi wins National Book Award

DMZ Colony, a book by Don Mee Choi published by Wave Books, founded by MFA Faculty Director, Matthew Zapruder, won the National Book Award for poetry. It’s an extraordinary and important book, centered on the effects of war and colonization in the Korean peninsula, chronicling personal experience and testimony as well as larger historical forces.

Every spring Matthew Zapruder offers a remote internship with Wave Books for MFA in Creative Writing students working on editorial projects and curatorial activities. This is a unique opportunity for Saint Mary's graduate students to work with a faculty member and press that have won numerous awards, including the Pulitzer Prize.

Congratulations to Don Mee Choi, Matthew Zapruder, and Wave Books!



Woven from poems, prose, photographs, and drawings, Don Mee Choi’s DMZ Colony is a tour de force of personal and political reckoning set over eight acts. Evincing the power of translation as a poetic device to navigate historical and linguistic borders, it explores Edward Said’s notion of “the intertwined and overlapping histories” in regards to South Korea and the United States through innovative deployments of voice, story, and poetics. Like its sister book, Hardly War, it holds history accountable, its very presence a resistance to empire and a hope in humankind.

ABOUT Don Mee Choi
Born in Seoul, South Korea, Don Mee Choi is the author of Hardly War, The Morning News Is Exciting, and several chapbooks and pamphlets of poems and essays. She has received a Whiting Award, Lannan Literary Fellowship, Lucien Stryk Translation Prize, and DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Fellowship. She has translated several collections of Kim Hyesoon’s poetry, including Autobiography of Death, which received the 2019 International Griffin Poetry Prize.


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Date of Mention: 
Friday, November 20, 2020