2008, 48 pages
Kelsey Street Press is pleased to reissue Myung Mi Kim's first book of poetry, Under Flag, initially published in 1991. Kim's efforts to learn English, a struggle documented here, resembles the experience of innumerable other U.S. citizens in a century that has been shaped by wars and vast human migrations. These poems speak of a need for what Kim has called "a method of generosity,"—in poetry and all areas of public life. Under Flag has been taught in writing classes and cultural studies programs throughout the country.
Myung Mi Kim was born in Seoul, Korea. She immigrated with her family to the United States at the age of nine and was raised in the Midwest. She earned a BA from Oberlin College, an MA from The Johns Hopkins University, and an MFA from the University of Iowa. Her collection of poems Under Flag (1991) won the Multicultural Publishers Exchange Award of Merit; subsequent collections include Civil Bound (2019), Penury (2009), River Antes (2006), Commons (2002), DURA (1999), and The Bounty (1996).
An avant-garde poet who often employs fragmentary language and uses the white space of the page, Kim explores issues of dislocation, colonization, immigration, loss of her first language, and the fallout of history in her work.
Kim is the subject of the book The Subject of Building Is a Process / Light Is an Element: essays and excursions for Myung Mi Kim (2008). She has taught at San Francisco State University and in the Poetics Program at SUNY Buffalo, where she is the James H. McNulty Chair of English.