Lost Alleys

Kooseul Kim

Lost Alleys
Selected Poems

ISBN: 978-0-939378-07-4


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In this collection, the Seoul, South Korea-based poet, a specialist in English and comparative literature, Kooseul Kim, offers her own evocative renderings of her award-winning work, making deft use of the language of authors central to her thought and distinguished career.

A longtime professor and dean at Seoul’s Hyupsung University, Kooseul Kim has promoted literary culture as a contributor to Korean and international academic and arts organizations, in tandem with her creative and research activity.

Formerly serving as president, and still as an advisor, for the T.S. Eliot Society of Korea, Kooseul Kim has written extensively on the Anglo-American poet, in addition to many other publications on Western and Eastern literature and authors.

Her Lost Alleys unfolds as a conversation with her country’s and the world’s literary heritage. Like Eliot, the poet celebrates and scrutinizes civilization, while also exploring facets of memory and consciousness.

Kooseul Kim’s work encourages fresh encounters with Eliot and other writers. She provocatively invokes the legacy of antiquity, and strikingly engages with authors such as Dante and George Orwell, as well as Korean classics like Yu Chiwhan and Buddhist poet-monk Kim Daljin.

The “alleys” in Kooseul Kim’s new book originate in her experience, since childhood, of the South Korean capital’s labyrinths of old backstreets. Navigating these winding alleys, she implies, provided early training for her future calling in the mazes of language and literature.

Lost Alleys embraces the discipline of working through the puzzles of learning, whether formally or in life lessons. Humble challenges, these poems suggest, lead to subtly meaningful treasures.

Lost Alleys’ poems offer unconventional guidance for the self and society. In a millennium often in a rush for quick answers, Kooseul Kim provides a reminder of the redemptive power of a carefully cultivated heart and mind. Her writing draws discerningly on wisdom spanning East and West, suggesting new possibilities for tending to the world of the everyday.

The book is translated by Professor Kooseul Kim. Editorial advisor James Manteith introduces the poems.

The ISBN number for the paperback edition of the book is 978-0-939378-07-4


Kooseul Kim, born in Jinhae on Korea’s southern coast, moved to Seoul at the age of 8.

She is a poet and Professor Emeritus of English Literature at Hyupsung University. She earned a Ph.D in English literature from Korea University. At Hyupsung University, she served as Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, as well as Dean of the Graduate School of Education and Art. She has been a Visiting Scholar at UCLA.

In 2019, she received an insignia from the Vietnam Writers’ Association for supporting Vietnam’s literature and arts. She earned the 2018 Hongjae Literary Grand Prize (named in honor of the 22nd king of Korea’s Chosun Dynasty) and the 2018 Suwon Literary Prize.

She is currently the Changwon KC International Literary Prize’s Review Committee Chair and Organizing Committee Vice Chair. She also contributes the “Kim Kooseul Column” to Kyunggi Newspaper and provides English translations of Korean poetry for the quarterly Suwon Literature.

She is Advisor and Vice President for the Society of East-West Comparative Literature, as well as Advisor for the T.S. Eliot Society of Korea, for which she has also served as President. She has been the President of the Baeksong Literary Society.

As a poet and a scholar of English literature, she has produced a considerable body of literary work, including Lost Alleys; 21st T.S. Eliot; T.S. Eliot’s Poetry, Society, Art; Complete Poetry of W.B. Yeats; Understanding Modern English Poetry; and T.S. Eliot and the Philosophy of F.H. Bradley.

Her poems have been translated into several languages, including English, Japanese, Romanian and Chinese.