Wombwell Rainbow Interviews: Wansoo Kim

Wombwell Rainbow Interviews

I am honoured and privileged that the following writers local, national and international have agreed to be interviewed by me. I gave the writers two options: an emailed list of questions or a more fluid interview via messenger.

The usual ground is covered about motivation, daily routines and work ethic, but some surprises too. Some of these poets you may know, others may be new to you. I hope you enjoy the experience as much as I do.

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Wansoo Kim

achieved Ph. D. in English Literature from the graduate school of Hanguk University of Foreign Studies. He was a lecturer at Hanguk University of Foreign Studies and an adjunct professor at Incheon Junior College for about 20 years. He has published 5 poetry books, one novel, and one book of essays. One poetry book, “Duel among a middle-aged fox, a wild dog and a deer” was a bestseller in 2012, one page from the book of Letters for Teenagers was put in textbooks of middle school (2011) and high school (2014) in South Korea, and four books (Easy-to-read English Bible stories, Old Testament(2017), New Testament(2018) and Teenagers, I Support your Dream”) were bestsellers. Kim was granted a Rookie award for poetry at the magazine of Monthly Literature Space in South Korea, and in 2004, the World Peace Literature Prize for Poetry Research and Recitation, presented in New York City at the 5th World Congress of Poets.

* Wansoo published a poetry book titled Prescription of Civilization in America.(2019)

tinyurl.com/y856tb24

The Interview

  1. What inspired you to write poetry?

Preparing for the national exam for a diplomat while in university, I was extremely frustrated by the diagnosis that even modern medicine had no cure for my disease from the doctor at the best hospital in South Korea.

Finally I took a year off from university, went to my country home and struggled against disease being seriously tormented by the problems such as ‘why on earth does such fatal disease come to me?, what will happen to me after death? etc.’

Attempting suicide a few times due to the unbearable pain, I had the opportunity to meet God at the revival service of a neighboring church. Beginning a life of faith, I’ve got a challenging hope of life with the miraculous healing of my disease. Besides, forming the sense of value totally different from that before the incurable disease, I have opened the eye of a new vision on everything of life.

Entering a graduate school and majoring in English and American poetry after graduating from university thanks to the recovery of health, I began to write poems, fired with the strong desire to express my literary and philosophical insight formed by the wide knowledge of English and American literature and the Christian faith.

These days, I get inspiration about writing when I study the Bible or listen to the sermons.

  1. How aware were you of the dominating presence of older poets?

I majored in English and American literature at graduate school. So I studied most of the important poets in the history of English and American literature.

3.What is your daily writing routine?

As soon as I get up at dawn, I usually write. And in the morning or in the afternoon when I have free time. I don’t write at night, because I can’t sleep well after writing.

4.What motivates you to write?

Many years ago, social injustice made me write. But recently prayers, listening to sermons and reading Christian books make me write, because I mainly write Christian poems and essays.

  1. What is your work ethic?

Essentially to me, it is based on common sense, conscience and God’s love. I don’t like wicked or obscene writings.

6. How do the writers you read when you were young influence you today?

When I was at graduate school, I studied Shakespeare’s sonnets. I liked them very much. I learned the image development from him. I learned conceit and wit from John Donne. I learned harmony of opposites from his concept of imagination. I learned imagism from Ezra Pound. I learned fusion of thought and feeling, objective corelative from T.S. Eliot. The techniques of all these poets are very helpful to write poems.

7. Who of today’s writers do you admire the most and why?

I have been reading the poems of so many writers on the poetry sites recently. I don’t have the writers to admire in foreign countries, but I admire a few Korean poets and novelists, because their works are wonderful enough to get a prize of authority in a foreign country.

8. Why do you write, as opposed to doing anything else?

I don’t write with a simple reason or as a hobby. I write with a mission to write. As a Christian writer, I write to express God’s love and plan for His people as well as my gratitude to Him. So writing has priority over everything to me. But writing is not a obligatory or hard burden. I am willing to write with the help of the Holy Spirit because I experience His presence, help, or guidance every day.

9. What would you say to someone who asked you “How do you become a writer?”

Continue to read the works of the genre you are interested in. Take a writing lecture. Join a writing circle. Have a great vision of being a writer. Write every week even though you are not good at writing.

10.Tell me about the writing projects you have on at the moment.

I am going to publish a poetry book titled “Flowers of thankfulness” this year in America. And I am planning to publish an essay book titled “Heart of God” in Korea and in America next year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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