Korean literature exchange helds in Wales

BY Sherry Ye
Two international literature exchange events featuring Korean novelists organised by the Welsh Literature Exchange will be held from April 8-10 in London, with a second to be held in Wales on Friday.

Co-ordinated with Literary Translation Centre at the London Book Fair, they aim to establish the relationship between Korea and the UK based on culture exchange, and to expand reputation with international literary community as well.

As one part of the cultural programme this year, announced by the British Council, it plans to focus on providing more opportunity for readers in the UK to meet Korean novelists face-to-face, and build a bridge between UK publishers and Korean authors to develop the translation for more international readers to engage with the Asian literature world.

There are about 10 Korean writers involved and will attend more than 20 events at 12 venues across the UK, such as Hwang Sun-mi, a leading children’s books author in Korea and Kim Hyesoon, a creative Korean poet.

Kim Seong-Kon, President of Literature Translation Institute of Korea, said: “The eyes of the world are upon the 2014 London Book Fair as the event will provide a collegiate place where different cultures and books from all over the world will meet in good will.”

Cortina Butler, the Director of Literature for the British Council hopes this programme will have enduring impact on “appreciation of the strength and depth of contemporary Korean literature”.

“We are delighted to be working with The London Book Fair and the Literature Translation Institute of Korea on this programme and believe that it creates a unique opportunity for the writing, publishing and reading communities in the UK and Korea understanding and make connections.”

There is another evening meeting to be held in Aberystwyth this Friday showcasing Lee Seung-U, a leading philosophical novelist of Korea. Mari Siôn, the spokesman of the Wales Literature Exchange says this is “a rare opportunity to meet and interact with Korean writers for Welsh audience” and it is “the only Korea Market Focus cultural programme event to be held in Wales.”

“Lee Seung-U will be in conversation with Francesca Rhydderch, author of The Rice Paper Diaries (Seren 2013). He was awarded the Daesan Literary Award in 1993, and the Dong-in Literary Award in 2013. As part of the evening, Francesca Rhydderch and Lee Seung-U will discuss his life and work providing a rare opportunity to hear him share his thoughts and reflections”, Siôn says.

“As a professor of creative writing at Chosun University, Lee Seung-U will also share his ideas on creative writing and his vast knowledge of Korean literature with the audience.”

“As a result, we hope that the evening will bring a flavour of the events and discussions held throughout the week at the London Book Fair to Aberystwyth”.

Time: 18:00, 11 April
Address: the Seddon Room, Old College, Aberystwyth, Wales
Ticket: £5 / £3, (free to the unemployed), and will be followed by a wine reception.

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