Cathy Park Hong
Cathy Park Hong
|Born||Los Angeles, California, United States|
Iowa Writers' Workshop
|Notable works||Dance Dance Revolution|
She is a graduate of Oberlin College and has an MFA from Iowa Writers' Workshop. She has received the 2018 Windham Campbell Prize, a MacDowell Colony Fellowship, Guggenheim Fellowship, Fulbright Fellowship, National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship.
Hong is, according to J. P. Eburne's summary of her poetic approach, "dedicated to expanding and experimenting with the capacities of a living art. Her writing, editing, and performances across media seek to open up the 'interactive possibilities' of poetry for the sake of providing 'alternative ways of living within the existing real,' as she puts it. 'What are ways in which the poetic praxis can be a ritual for social experimentation? The poem as a public encounter is entrenched in habit. How many ways can we change this encounter?'"
Hong's books of poems include Translating Mo'um (2002), Dance Dance Revolution (2007), and Engine Empire (2012).
Her poems have appeared in A Public Space, Paris Review, Poetry, Web Conjunctions, jubilat, and Chain, among others. She has also written articles for publications like The Village Voice, The Guardian, Christian Science Monitor and New York Times Magazine. In 2002, she won a Pushcart Prize for Translating Mo'um and she won the 2006 Barnard Women Poets Prize.
Dance Dance Revolution
Dance Dance Revolution was Hong's second book, published in 2007 by W.W. Norton. It is a collection of poems, written in a style that encompasses "code-switching", or the mixture of several languages, such as English, Spanish, French and Korean, and spoken extremely informally with the inclusion of slang. The story takes place in an imaginary place called "The Desert", a luxurious place where people of different origins and languages mingle, causing a blend of languages that form into a dialect known in the book as "Desert Creole". The narrator of Dance Dance Revolution is the Historian, who travels to the Desert to find the woman who her father once loved. "The Guide", a character in the story who acts as the tour guide to the Historian, is that woman. Most of the poems in the book are told from The Guide's point of view, characterized by the Guide's mixture of languages and point of view, with narration of the Historian, which is characterized by the Historian's use of standard English. The Guide uses the poems to talk about her life in the Desert as well as her past during the Kwangju Revolution, when she lived in South Korea before she moved to the Desert.
When asked about the unusual language in the book, Hong commented, "As far as the language, I was reading a lot of linguistic theory at the time, particularly on this idea of Creole as a language that is in transition. French, for instance, was a Creole of Latin before it became the "official" language. English is always in transition, although the Standard version is more likely to be frozen in its glass cube. But spoken, English is a busy traffic of dialects, accents, and slang words going in and out of fashion. Slang is especially fascinating. I love outdated slang dictionaries—these words are artifacts that tell you the mindset and squeamish taboos of a certain milieu during a certain time period. I wanted the English in the book to be a hyperbole of that everyday dynamism of spoken English."
- 2002 Pushcart Prize for Translating Mo'Um
- 2006 Barnard Women Poets Prize for Dance Dance Revolution
- 2018 Windham–Campbell Literature Prize in Poetry
- Translating Mo'um, Hanging Loose Press, 2002, ISBN 9781931236126
- Dance Dance Revolution, W.W. Norton, 2007, ISBN 9780393064841
- Engine Empire: Poems, W. W. Norton & Company, 2012, ISBN 9780393082845
- The Believer
- Poetry Foundation
- Eburne, J. P. & Hong, C. P. "Throwing Your Voice: An Interview with Cathy Park Hong." ASAP/Journal, vol. 3 no. 1, 2018, pp. 1-12. doi:10.1353/asa.2018.0000
- Ruth Patkin. "2006 Barnard Women Poets Prize Awarded to Cathy Park Hong". Barnard College. Archived from the original on November 21, 2010.
- Hong, Cathy Park. Dance Dance Revolution
- "Yale awards eight writers $165,000 Windham-Campbell Prizes". YaleNews. 2018-03-07. Retrieved 2018-03-07.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Cathy Park Hong.|
- "Cathy Park Hong on ‘Engine Empire’", Paris Review, August 23, 2011, Robyn Creswell
- Interview with Poets & Writers
- Cathy Park Hong reading Zoo from Translating Mo'um
- Review of Translating Mo'um from Rain Taxi
- "Adventures in Shangdu" from Conjunctions
- Protean Woods from jubilat
- "Language Guide" from Action, Yes
- poets.org entry