Born in 1933 in Gunsan, North Jeolla Province, Ko Un is Korea's foremost living writer. After immense suffering during the Korean War, he became a Buddhist monk. His first poems were published in 1958, then a few years later he returned to the world. He became a leading spokesman in the struggle for freedom and democracy during the 1970s and 1980s, in a struggle for which he was often arrested and imprisoned. He has published more than 120 volumes of poems, essays, and fiction. In recent years, selections from his work have been translated into at least fourteen languages, including 4 volumes so far published in English: The Sound of My Waves (Cornell EAS) and Beyond Self: Zen Poems (Parallax) were published in the 1990s, Little Pilgrim (Parallax) and Ten Thousand Lives (Green Integer) have been published in 2005. He has been invited to talk and give readings of his work at major poetry and literary festivals in many countries.
Brother Anthony of Taizé was born in Cornwall (UK) in 1942, He studied medieval European literature at the University of Oxford. A member of the Community of Taizé since 1969, he has been living in Korea since 1980. He is now an Emeritus Professor of Sogang University (Seoul) and a Chair-Professor at Dankook University. A prolific translator, since 1990 he has published some fifty volumes of translations of Korean literature, mostly contemporary poetry. He took Korean citizenship in 1994. He received the Korean government’s Award of Merit (Culture) in 2008. In 2015 he was awarded an honorary MBE by Queen Elizabeth.
The late Young-moo Kim was a Professor of English Literature at Seoul National University, and published three volumes of his poetry. Brother Anthony and he together translated and published poems by a number of other Korean writers as well as Ko Un.
Gary G. Gach is a poet, translator and writer living in San Francisco. He is the author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Understanding Buddhism and edited the Buddhist poetry anthology What Book? for Parallax Press.