Meredith Foundation Award/Korean Poet Passes Away – Poetry News Roundup January 11th

We begin the week with a look at the winner of the 2021 Award in Poetry from the William Meredith Foundation and the Korean poet who has died at the age of 79.

2021 Award in Poetry Winner Announced by William Meredith Foundation

The poet Robert Earl Price has been announced as the winner of this year’s William Meredith Foundation Award in Poetry for his book “Blood Flow”.

The poems in the collection look at the damage and the cruelty that is perpetrated by the human race towards each other, from the story of the 16th Street Baptist church and the death of four little girls to taking a look at Dr King in the week before he was assassinated. The poems have been described in places as more than dark, they show despair as something that is rather a given.

The poems have been written in part to help people understand the ideas behind Black Lives Matter and how everyone should see the humanity of those around them regardless. The president of the William Meredith Foundation believes that the poet for whom the award is named would have been delighted that this year’s winner was Robert Earl Price.


Choi Yearn-hong, Poet and Former Korea Times Columnist Dies

The poet Choi Yearn-hong who has spent much of his life dedicated to promoting the works of Yun Dong-Ju, one of the most well-known poets in the modern history of Korea has died as the result of chronic disease. The poet, who was living in the United States, in Baltimore, was 79.

His death was confirmed by his younger brother, and due to the current coronavirus pandemic, it was also announced that a memorial service will take place via Zoom.

Choi was born in Yeongdong, in the North Chungcheong Province. He took his first steps into the world of literature in 1963 when he was a student at Yonsei University in Seoul. It was after this that he moved to the USA where he went on to study for a master’s and then a doctorate in public administration and political science at the University of Indiana.
He taught at a number of different colleges all over America, as well as teaching at the University of Seoul. He retired in 2006. From 1981 to 1983 he worked as Assistant for Environmental Quality at the Office of the Secretary of Defence.

Choi spent a large part of his life devoting his time to celebrating the work of the poet Yun, who is often referred to as the patriotic poet. From 1910 to 1945, during the colonial rule of the peninsula by the Japanese Yun was at his most prolific. His work was inspired by a nostalgia for both independence and peace.

Choi was responsible for translating and then publishing some of Yun’s most important poetry including “Self Portrait”, “Star-counting Night” and “Prelude”. He was also a founding member of the Korean Poets and Writers Group. In addition, he founded Washington DC’s branch of the Korean American Poets’ Group.

Choi was announced as the winner of 2009’s Yun Dong-Ju award for his own poetry and in 2016 the Yun Dong-Ju Poetry Award. He was the first Korean poet to receive an invitation to read his work at the Congress Library.

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