Melbourne-Seoul will nurture an increased cultural understanding of Australia and Korea 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, as well as public events, in two urban locations in October and November this year.
The project is a part of RMIT’s WrICE Program (Writers Immersion and Cultural Exchange). WrICE, a research program of residencies, workshops and events, 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 Taize (Sogang University, Seoul) and Associate Professor Chung Eun-Gwi (Hankuk University of Foreign Studies). Invited participants 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.
Wilkinson has said that the 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.
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.”
Melbourne-Seoul is supported by the Australia-Korea Foundation.