Kim, Chi-Ha 1941–

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Kim, Chi-Ha 1941–

(Kim Chi Ha, Kim Chi-Ha, Kim Chiha)

PERSONAL: Born February 4, 1941, in Mokpo, South Chôlla Province, South Korea. Education: Seoul National University, graduated from Liberal Arts College. Religion: Catholic.

ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o Author Mail, White Pine Press, P.O. Box 236, Buffalo, NY 14201.

CAREER: Poet, writer, and activist.

AWARDS, HONORS: Lotus Special Award, Asian and African Writers' Council, 1975; Nobel Peace Prize nominations in Peace and Literature, 1975; Great Poet Award, Poetry International, 1981; Bruno Chriski Human Rights Award, Chriski Human Rights Award Committee of Austria, 1981; Isan Literature Prize, 1993; honorary doctorate in literature, Sogang University, 1993.



Cry of the People and Other Poems, Autumn Press (Hayama, Japan), 1974.

The Gold-Crowned Jesus and Other Writings, Orbis Books (Maryknoll, NY), 1978.

The Middle Hour: Selected Poems of Kim Chi Ha, translated by David R. McCann, preface by Denise Levertov, Human Rights Publishing Group (Stanfordville, NY), 1980.

Heart's Agony: Selected Poems, translated by Won-Chung Kim and James Han, White Pine Press (Fredonia, NY), 1998.

Also author of the collection Yellow Earth Road, 1970.


Kim Chi-ha chakpum sonjip: Nam Choson aeguk siin (selections), Yonyong Inmin Chulpansa Yonyong-song Sinhwa Sojom parhaeng, (Sinhwa, South Korea), 1982.

Minjok ui norae minjung ui norae, Tonggwang Chulpansa (Seoul, South Korea), 1984.

Aerin Silchon Munhaksa (Seoul, South Korea), 1986.

Ojok, Tonggwang Chulpansa (Seoul, South Korea), 1987.

Sallim, Tonggwang Chulpansa (Seoul, South Korea), 1987.

Naui omoni, Chayu Munhaksa (Seoul, South Korea), 1988.

I kamun nal e pi kurum, Yeni, 1988.

Pyol pat ul urorumyo, Tonggwang Chulpansa (Seoul, South Korea), 1989.

Tanun mongmarum eso saengmyong ui pada ro, Tonggwang Chulpansa (Seoul, South Korea), 1991.

Ttongttakki ttongttak, Tonggwang Chulpansa (Seoul, South Korea), 1991.

Han sarang i taeonamuro, Tonggwang Chulpansa (Seoul, South Korea), 1991.

Igot kurigo chogot, Tonggwang Chulpansa (Seoul, South Korea), 1991.

Kim Chi-ha chonjip (works), Tonggwang Chulpansa (Seoul, South Korea), 1991.

Malttugi ippal un palman-sachon-kae, (works), Tonggwang Chulpansa (Seoul, South Korea), 1991.

Mungchimyon chukko hechimyon sanda, (works), Tonggwang Chulpansa (Seoul, South Korea), 1991.

Saengmyong, i challanhan chongche (works), Tonggwang Chulpansa (Seoul, South Korea), 1991.

Moro nuun tol pucho, Nanm (Seoul, South Korea), 1992.

Saengmyong, Sol (Seoul, South Korea), 1992.

Kyolchongbon Kim Chi-ha si chonjip, Sol (Seoul, South Korea), 1993.

Ongchi kyok, Sol (Seoul, South Korea), 1993.

Pam nara, Sol (Seoul, South Korea), 1993.

Chungsim ui koeroum, Sol (Seoul, South Korea), 1994.

Tonghak iyagi, Sol (Seoul, South Korea), 1994.

Nim: yojum sesang e taehayo, Sol (Seoul, South Korea), 1995.

Pin san: Kim Chi-ha sijip, Sol (Seoul, South Korea), 1996.

Sasang kihaeng, Silchon Munhaksa (Seoul, South Korea), 1999.

Mi ui yojong, Kim Chi-ha ui mungnan, Hakkojae (Seoul, South Korea), 2001.

Hwagae, Silchon Munhaksa (Seoul, South Korea), 2002.

Kim Chi-ha chonjip, Silchon Munhaksa (Seoul, South Korea), 2002.

Chol, ku onjori: Kim Chi-ha sumuk sihwachop, Changjak kwa Pipyongsa (Seoul, South Korea), 2003.

Kim Chi-ha ui hwadu: pulgun angma wa chotpul, Hwanam (Seoul, South Korea), 2003.

Talchum ui minjok mihak, Silchon Munhaksa (Seoul, South Korea), 2004.

Also author of Hwangto, 1970; Nagai kurayami no kanata ni, 1971; Kin Shika shishu, 1974; Minshuno koe, 1974; Ryoshin sengen, 1975; Fuki, 1975; Kim Chi-ha cho njip, 1975; Kim Chi-ha tamsijip, 1975; Kin Shika sakuhin shu, 1976; Gokuchu kara, 1977; Kugyo, 1978; Tanun mongmarum uro: Kim Chi-ha sisonjip, 1982; Tongyang chongsin kwa ijil munhwa kan ui taehwa, 1984; Pap: Kim Chi-ha iyagi moum, 1984; Pap, 1984; Susan, 1984; Taesol nam, 1984; Komun san hayan pang, 1986; and Yumok kwa undun: Kim Chi-ha sijip, 2005.

Contributor to numerous books, including Chejari rul channun si, 1985; Sam inya chugum inya, 1985; Nam-nyok ttang paennorae, 1985; Nunmul ul samkimyo, 1988; Chinae hanun kungmin yorobun!: chongchi pungja sijip, 1989; Han-guk munhak pirhwa chakpumjip, 1989; 70, 80-yondae kongyon kumji huigok sonjip, 1990; and Cracking the Shell: Three Korean Ecopoets: Seungho Choi, Chiha Kim, Hyonjong Chong, edited and translated by Won-Chung Kim, Homa & Sekey Books (Paramus, NJ), 2006.

Contributor of poetry, essays, and other writings to periodicals, including Shiin and Sasanggye; made sound recording Shin ya, 1976.

SIDELIGHTS: Kim Chi-Ha was sentenced to death in 1974 for his poetry provoking South Korean President Chunghee Park. His sentence was eventually commuted in 1980 due to a worldwide effort to save him. Much of Kim's poetry has been published in English, including the collection of poems that got him arrested, Cry of the People and Other Poems. Writing in Book World, Don Oberdorfer noted that the volume was "a polemical call to arms written for the antigovernment student demonstrations." Oberdorfer also wrote that, despite the difficulties that translations can make in poetry, the poet's "anger, earthiness and sense of irony somehow manage to shine throughout." Julia Morrison, writing in the Library Journal, remarked that Kim's "powerful reactions to his environment have an impact on the reader." Writing in the Catholic Library World, Harry James Cargas noted that the collection "makes very powerful reading."

The Gold-Crowned Jesus and Other Writings presents various writings by the author, including poems, a play, and essays. For example, in "Declaration of Conscience," which the poet wrote while on trial, Kim tells about his interrogation in court. Another essay, "Torture Road," also looks askance at government efforts at repression. The title of the book is a play that features Jesus relinquishing His gold crown to be with the downtrodden. Writing about the play in the Christian Century, Deane William Ferm noted that the play "portrays Christ as an inert figure of gold imprisoned in concrete by his political and religious oppressors. A leper, the advocate of the oppressed, tries to liberate Jesus by removing the gold crown from his head, and Jesus encourages the leper." Cargas commented that the play "is powerful not highly polished theatre." Thomas C. Hunt, writing in the Library Journal, commented that the entire volume "portrays the agony and frustration of revolutionary-minded Catholics under" the regime of Korea at the time. World Literature Today contributor Peter H. Lee noted the author's use in his poems of "the rhetorical device of place (sporadic word repetition), the recurrence of certain sounds, and association of words."

Another collection of poems, The Middle Hour: Selected Poems of Kim Chi Ha, includes a wide selection of the author's works. Writing in the Library Journal, Robert Hudzik called the poems "angry, sad, and, remarkably, touched with humor." In a review of another collection of poems titled Heart's Agony: Selected Poems, World Literature Today contributor Edgar C. Knowlton, Jr. noted that the volume "fills a desirable function, giving samples from both the earlier and later styles of this gifted poet, together with a sophisticated analysis thereof." Knowlton went on to note that the poet "is a virtuoso, entertaining as well as brilliant."



Book World, April 6, 1975, Don Oberdorfer, review of Cry of the People and Other Poems, p. 3.

Catholic Library World, October, 1982, Harry James Cargas, "Korea's Catholic Martyr," discusses author's life and works, pp. 129-130.

Choice, June, 1985, Deane William Ferm, review of The Gold-Crowned Jesus and Other Writings, p. 1454.

Christian Century, January 25, 1984, Deane William Ferm, "Outlining Rice-Roots Theology," discusses author and work, pp. 78-80.

Library Journal, March 15, 1978, Thomas C. Hunt, review of The Gold-Crowned Jesus and Other Writings, p. 673; June 1, 1975, Julia Morrison, review of Cry of the People and Other Poems, p. 1134; August, 1980, Robert Hudzik, review of The Middle Hour: Selected Poems of Kim Chi Ha, p. 1640.

World Literature Today, winter, 1980, Peter H. Lee, review of The Gold-Crowned Jesus and Other Writings, p. 173; summer, 1999, Edgar C. Knowlton, Jr., review of Heart's Agony: Selected Poems, pp. 602-603; spring, 2002, Oe Kenzaburo, "Can Literature Bridge the Gap among the Countries of Asia?," p. 24.