“Before wanting to be a poet I did many things: worked hateful low-paying jobs, lived in a lot of group houses, took up the flute, read, drank, took drugs, found my way in and out of friendships and love relationships. My life didn’t change once I discovered poetry. But I had found my direction. I didn’t have a great aptitude––my early poems were truly terrible––but I had a calling at last. I realized that poetry was my gift. My ‘genius.'” – Kim Addonizio

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I’m not purporting to be a genius by any means (far, far from it)––but it’s taken me nearly two decades since my undergraduate years to realize poetry may be my ‘genius.’ I’m what you’d call a late bloomer to poetry. For too many years, I masqueraded as a wannabe fiction writer but lacked the discipline to actually get anything worth a damn on the page. Turns out, I was working with the wrong form all along! Coming from a well-known Korean literary family, it also took an excruciatingly long time to get over the fear of failure, however cliche that may sound. I mean this guy was my grandfather! My uncle is a famous poet and scholar, and my father was a journalist before we immigrated to the United States when I was eight years old. Pretty sizable shoes to fill. Now that I’m older and a little wiser, I realize I have to live my own truth. Like poet Kim Addonizio said: my life hasn’t changed all that much since poetry came into my life, but at least now I have a direction. Poetry has become my imperative. Better late than never, right?

Thank you for stopping by & reading.


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Homepage photo: taken somewhere in Brooklyn, NY, circa 2014; all photos taken by the author.

Content & photos herein: All rights reserved © 2019 Su Hwang.