(Seoul, xx) "This is what I chose when I chose // to live through poetry // to live it or not to live at all," writes Mia You in the opening poem of her 2016 debut collection I, Too, Dislike It. Motherhood, birth, heredity and the racialization of everyday life are themes in her balanced lyrical work. You grew up in the US, studied English at the University of Berkeley and now lives in Utrecht, where she teaches creative writing and literature in the university's English department. Her poems were published in the art publications Objective Practice (2007) and YOU (2004). She also writes essays and reviews for publications such as Artforum, Bookforum and The Los Angeles Review of Books. She is also an editor with Perdu. She previously worked as a journalist for The San Jose Mercury News and The Korea Herald, and she translates Korean poetry and film scripts.(2017)
Archive available for: Mia You
How can literature challenge language? Besides Mandarin and Spanish, English is the most-spoken language in the world. It is a language of power, of mass culture, of imperialism and domination, but also a language expressing solidarity, activism and understanding, in which the underpinnings of power can be attacked: a language of the majority full of minority languages.
What is the role of English in the poetry being written in the Netherlands and Belgium? Writers Unlimited put this question to eight young poets writing in English, in Dutch, in Dutch as well as English, who write multilingual poetry, who live in the Netherlands and Belgium, who were born 'here' or not.
What is the status of English in their poetry? Each has written a new poem especially for the festival: Veva Leye, Dean Bowen, Nam Chi Nguyen, Samira Saleh, Mia You en Caglar Koseoglu; also Joost Baars and Charlotte Van den Broeck, both nominated for the VSB Poetry Prize 2018, take part and react with their work. The VSB Poetry Prize 2018 will be awarded shortly after the Festival, on Thursday, 25 January, at the Diligentia Theatre in The Hague.