An increased cultural understanding of Australia and Korea is anticipated through the medium of poetry, an art form that sweeps away cultural and linguistic barriers.
Building on RMIT’s commitment to global education partnerships, the university’s non/fictionLab research group will partner with Sogang and Deakin Universities for the Melbourne-Seoul Poetry exchange.
A team of highly respected academics, poets, writers, translators and researchers from both Melbourne and Seoul will engage in a collaborative poetry writing exchange and public events in two urban locations in October and November of this year.
The project is part of RMIT’s Writers Immersion and Cultural Exchange (WrICE) program, a research program of residencies, workshops and events.
WrICE is building an international network of writers and writing to foster intercultural conversations, celebrate cultural diversity, and change the stories we tell and listen to.
Melbourne-Seoul is a collaboration between Dr. Jessica Wilkinson (RMIT University), Dr. Cassandra Atherton (Deakin University), Associate Professor Dan Disney, Emeritus Professor Brother Anthony of Taizé (Sogang University, Seoul) and Associate Professor Chung Eun-Gwi (Hankuk University of Foreign Studies).
Invited participants in the program include Dr. Bonny Cassidy (RMIT University), Kent MacCarter (Editor of Cordite Poetry Review), Lisa Gorton (author of The Life of Houses), and from Seoul, So Yeon Kim, Hyangra Kim, Bo Seon Shim and translator Ben Jackson.
In each location, poets will engage in workshop intensives and cultural activities, culminating in individual and group performances for public audiences in both Seoul and Melbourne.
The reading events will be translated live in both countries by Ben Jackson.
Eun-Gwi Chung, Associate Professor of Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, Seoul said he was looking forward to learning more about contemporary Australian poetry and to hearing some new voices in Australian poetry in Korea.
“In particular, we hope to have the chance to translate the poems with our undergraduate and graduate students,” Chung said.
Wilkinson said he project’s dual exchange program and public events will strengthen long-term intercultural relationships between Australia and Korea, and develop networks between poets and academics from both countries.
”Both RMIT and Sogang University encourage “creativity for change and poets will be working to a topical, contemporary theme through discussions, workshops and activities relating to a shared social context.”
“The Melbourne-Seoul intercultural poetry exchange project promotes forward thinking in forging deep future relationships between Korean and Australian institutions and significant cross-cultural understanding within and across diverse writing communities,” Wilkinson said.
Melbourne-Seoul is supported by the Australia-Korea Foundation.
Story: Ali Barker and Chloe Matthews-Prosser