Night-Sky Checkerboard

$16.00 $13.00

By Oh Sae-young

Translated from the Korean by Brother Anthony of Taizé

Sae-young’s first English language release translated from the original Korean, Night-Sky Checkerboard, features heart-rendering, explorative poems fixated on existence and humanity’s scarring impact on nature through industrial society.

Published: May 10, 2016

Paperback: 9781939419477



Night-Sky Checkerboard introduces English-language readers to the imagistic lyricism of a Korean master at the peak of his powers. As a young poet fascinated by Modernism, Oh Sae-young attempted to reproduce the inner landscapes of the dislocated self produced by industrial society before arriving at the more existentialist concerns that dominate his work today.

The present volume, fluidly translated by Brother Anthony of Taizé, reflects Oh Sae-young’s harmonious fusion of image with idea, with woodpeckers pecking secret coded messages, the farmer finding the ground’s erogenous zones, and a cloud factory on strike.

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“Sae-young’s attention to detail, and his ability to shift back and forth between scopes both grand and minuscule, provide a sense that his poems are inextricably linked to something larger.” –Mark Magoon, Chicago Review of Books

“Simple, beautifully rendered sadness rises from the poems in Night-Sky Checkerboard, while just below is the bite and sting of the poet’s judgment of humanity in the twentieth century.”–Frank Stewart, Korean Literature Now

“His poems wait outside asking for answers, seeking some reason to come in from the cold.” –Mark Magoon, Chicago Review of Books