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Catcalling

Lee Soho

Regular price $22.50

Translated from the Korean by Soje

Here’s an excerpt from a brilliant short poem that demonstrates this poet’s humor, verve, and play (CF):

APOLOGY LETTER

Hello, I am Lee Soho and I write poems. 

First, I would like to apologize for troubling my readers who have shown me love. [...]  I thought that any sentence was admissible within the frame of poetry. With this lesson as my springboard, I will avoid provocative words in the future and think deeply before I act. I will try my hardest to compensate for this literary mistake with better literature. 

Lee Soho’s debut collection of poems is an experimental lyric bildungsroman that confronts dynamics of abuse as it challenges poetic form. Catcalling exposes and ridicules the violences that the speaker-protagonist Kyungjin encounters as she navigates a patriarchal world. Divided in to five formally distinct sections—ranging from lyric to prose poems to experimental mash-ups to concrete forms—the book begins in Kyungjin’s childhood home as she recounts the haunting claustrophobia of verbal and psychological abuse, and follows her into the world as an emerging female poet navigating pervasive sexism in the era of Korea’s own movement against sexual violence and the global #MeToo movement.

Lee’s poetry is reactive: reacting to a series of foils, but also initiating a kind of chemical reaction that introduces something radically new to a world that has such confining gender and artistic expectations for a young poet. Following in the footsteps of feminist Korean poets like Kim Hyesoon, Kim Yideum, and Choi Seung-ja, who have made their way to English audiences in recent years, Lee Soho emphatically heralds the arrival of the next generation.

Paperback || 112 pages || 5.50" x 8.50" || Open Letter Books