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Dobbs to present at international writers festival

By Kevin George '13
October 24, 2012

St. Olaf College Assistant Professor of English Jennifer Kwon Dobbs will travel to South Korea this week to present at the Seoul International Writers Festival.

The festival, which promotes transnational dialogue about literary themes, will be held October 31 through November 2. It will feature author readings, discussions, and press events tied to this year's theme of "Reality and Imagination in My Works."

Dobbs will present alongside Korean poet Kim Ki-Taek, who visited St. Olaf in 2009. For the festival, the Literature Translation Institute paired prominent Korean writers with foreign authors who practice the same genre and asked them to talk about the role of the real and imagined in each other's work.

In addition to the festival's literary substance, participants will also spend two days touring Jeju Island. Jeju is famous for its 1948 uprising protesting separate elections for North and South Korea, which further divided the country prior to the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950. The island is also a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Five of Dobbs' poems have been translated for the festival. Two come from her first collection, Paper Pavilion, and three come from her second manuscript, Three-Legged Bird.

Dobbs says she wrote many of the poems in her second book while reflecting on contemporary poetry with her students here at St. Olaf. "My students' creativity simply inspires me," she says. 

Contact Kari VanDerVeen at 507-786-3970 or