Festival Postscript 2: Free Talks (23 September)
The 2014 Seoul International Writers’ Festival kicked off with a welcome address delivered by President Kim Seong-kon. He said that since this year’s theme was “Eros and Dream,” which were the driving force that sustained life and helped literature flourish, he hoped the 2014 SIWF would be an occasion for all participants to reach beyond what man and literature had dreamed. Cherishing the same wish in their hearts, the participating writers and audience members cheered him with rapturous applause. Next, it was time for the “Free Talk” sessions to begin.
Free Talk Session 1: Poets Kim Haengsook & Yuan Tian (China) / Moderator: Kang Yu-jung
Poet Yuan Tian writes poetry in both his mother tongue Chinese, as well as Japanese. Poetess Kim Haengsook inquired whether he felt a conflict between the two languages while composing poetry. Yuan Tian replied that he had come to contemplate over his mother tongue even more while learning and using Japanese. That while as a poet he could best express his soul through his mother tongue, at the same time as a poet who had to polish and prune his language, the interaction of languages stimulated him. Kim revealed she was expectant that the useless and powerless tool of poetry would provide new hope in the age of violent language. Yuan Tian also added that a poet has to fight endlessly with time and his own limits in order to create poetry that is invariable and not simply a product for one-time consumption.
Free Talk Session 2: Poets Lee Jenny and Akiko Fujiwara (Japan) / Moderator: Kang Yu-jung
Lee Jenny said that she instinctively felt Akiko Fujiwara was an intriguing poetess the instant she came across her anthology at a bookstore
Free Talk Session 3: Novelists Hae Yisoo and Lucy Fricke (Germany) / Moderator: Park Jin
The two novelists confessed that despite becoming friends while attending the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa two