Flyhiee

Meet the Writers – Episode One

By Foolchund Saahil, Mauritius
Meet

 Hello friends,

Myself, Foolchund Saahil, will be your host in this new adventure. I proudly announce a segment reserved for writers, whether amateurs or experts, whether for profession or hobby, where you will be able to know more about the writers whose works I have so far loved, appreciated and more importantly has kept me agape with their unique style and artistic prowess. Like I say in French, la parole aux auteurs.

I know, many would ask me why?

You know, if you take it from the writing perspective, it would sound stupid but we also forget that writers are also passionate readers who also love other works. Don’t forget that even we have been influenced by major writing figures either to start writing or influenced by their thoughts in our own writing. For many, major literary figures stand as source of inspiration. So, I thought, why not, pay a tribute to the authors I love in this blogosphere by letting them speak freely and convey their thoughts to you, our esteemed followers and readers, through my questions. Thank you(I will tire to say this!!) for appreciating my works till now. I hope this new segment will aid writers of different horizons to connect with more ease with like-minded people, with a profound love and interest for the fantastic world of literature that we all share. For time being, I rest my words and let the writer of the day express herself!

I have decided to open the festivities with a wonderful blogger and writer of Korean origins living in the United States. Please welcome Miss Judy Eun Kyung Kim:

So, Judy, please enlighten the blogging community more about yourself as a person and as a writer.

I’m a first generation immigrant, I was born in South Korea and moved to the USA when I was three years old. I grew up on the East Coast in Maryland and I currently live in the San Francisco Bay Area in Oakland, California. I’ve been writing since I was a child, I kept a journal at age eight and continued journaling and writing poetry throughout my life. I was a precocious child who was constantly reading books; books were like friends to me. I could relate so well to the characters in the stories I loved and literature helped me to mentally escape my unhappy childhood. My parents were good, hardworking immigrants that experienced racism and discrimination in the USA. They both lived through the trauma of the Korean War as children. The extreme hardships they survived shaped their lives and the lives of their children. I’ve witnessed years of domestic violence in my home because of those inherited experiences, the after effects of war. The tragedies of our collective past, inspired my choice to be a writer and an artist.

Your blog is really impressive. What does writing signifies for you? How did the idea of blogging emerge and whether you aim to be published?

Thank you! I think blogging is about directly connecting your writing with a worldwide online community without censorship. I really appreciate your support of my blog. It helps me to know that you see value in what I’m wishing to share. Writing can be an isolating art form. Often writers are sensitive introverts, encouragement by empathetic fellow writers and readers helps in a significant way. The intention of my writing is to share authentic information that educates, supports survivors of trauma and provides acknowledgment of silenced truth. The idea of blogging came to me after I published a short, true story entitled, “Running Away” in a memoir anthology called, “A Wiggle and a Prayer” in 2017 (by the Berkeley Public Library writers workshop). Being published fulfilled a life long dream and it inspired me to keep sharing my stories and perspectives about being an Asian American minority in America. In the future I’d also like to publish a memoir about my family’s experiences during war-time in South Korea and insightful stories about living in the US.

I have seen that you have written a lot about the representation, adaptation and acceptance of Asian minorities in the American culture. How does this theme connect to you and tell us the current situation in America? Do you really think that your writing could help make the difference in people’s mentality?

I chose to focus on writing about the Asian American experience because it has shaped who I am and who I am still becoming. Asians have been called the “model minority” but I think we’re a nearly invisible group (politically) in North America. When issues of racism are raised, the struggle between “black, white and brown” are emphasized, Asians aren’t included in the discussion even though they have been discriminated against for generations by various racial groups, (excluded even within other Asian ethnicities). I don’t want to encourage division among races or ethnic groups, but I want to promote inter-communication and mutual learning. There’s a famous advice for writers to “write what you know”. I agree with that concept (of writing from direct experience), but many, (especially famous) writers write (from the perspective of and about cultures that are not their own). They rely on research exclusively to propel their “borrowed” stories. I find their writing to be inauthentic because they don’t innately understand the culture. There’s no heart in their portrayals, (they often get the facts wrong), and so the writing ultimately encourages more stereotypes and misinformation. I think it’s a type of theft to write with “authority” about a culture that isn’t theirs to claim. Since everyone has their own unique story to tell, no one should benefit from writing about a foreign culture’s experience for mere fame, money or acclaim. I often wonder why Asians are still expected to remain silent and uncomplaining about being disempowered and why more of us artists and activists aren’t fighting the misinformation. I’d like to think that my tiny but authentic voice, could make an incremental difference in understanding what it’s like to be a minority immigrant who has fought with self-identity, assimilation and the lifelong quest to belong in North American society as an equal citizen.

You have composed some beautiful Haikus. Please tell us whether this particular poetic form hold any symbolic significance to you and why?

Thank you. I tend to write prose poems that are stylistically simple and subtle. I love and am influenced by simplistic but deep writing. My favourite poets are Richard Brautigan and e e Cummings because their writing is unpretentious and easily understood by everyone; their poems are not just for academics or intellectuals. My writing is for down-to-earth people, not professors or literary critics. I actually dislike writing that references obscure or intellectual metaphors because they’re exclusionary, as if you have to be a college graduate to understand their meaning. I resonate with the working class people of the world, not the elitist ruling class. Lately I’ve been writing haikus because I like the short, succinct format. There’s less pressure to write three lines of verse instead of an entire page or more; but it does have its limits for the same reason. Haikus are like an appetizer, not the main course meal, (in my opinion), they provide a preliminary taste of an idea, that a longer poem could express more completely.

Miss Judy Eun Kyung Kim in Meet the Writers

So, this was the very touching and memorable intervention of Miss Judy Eun Kyung Kim, a writer engaged in her cause. Through her magnificent words, readers trace the sensibility of a person present to defend against all odds her ideals. You make me remember Victor Hugo and his relentless fight for France working class people whose voice was long ignored by the governing powers in the 19th century. Only advice; Be brave against all adversity and my dear, don’t forget, you have our love, good wishes and unflinching support. Friends, this was the laudable interview of a great artist and more importantly a poetic voice who rises against injustices and discrimination!

You want to support the writer of the day, Judy – Please follow, like and comment her posts on her blog by clicking on the link:

Seoul Sister Moreover, you can also react to this interview by asking your questions to Judy, if any, in the comments section. It will be a pleasure for her to attend to your queries. I will not intervene except if I find it necessary!

What can I add more to the already dazzling beauty of the words of Judy?

A profound story of a commendable individual who kept strong in her difficult times and found writing a remedy to the wounds of the past.

Please continue to follow www.flyhiee.com or Young Writers and Poets to know more about the bloggers who are around you with their stories and point of views!! If you want to feature in an interview, do not hesitate to send me a mail on foolchund123@gmail.com or flyhieeofficial@gmail.com