01Suju Literary Festival
Bucheon's most representative literary festival is the Suju Literary Festival celebrating the work of Suju Byun Yeongro (Suju was the poet's pen name.). During the festival, the Suju Literary Awards are presented by the Bucheon Branch of the Writers Association of Korea to the best poems selected from across the country. On average, more than 400 works are submitted each year and 68 poets have been recognized so far.
Diverse side events include the Suju Youth Essay Contest, the Suju Literature Symposium, and the Night of Suju Byun Yeongro, which features a poetry recitation and presentation of critiques.
- 2018 Suju Literary Festival Successfully Held in Honor of Poet ‘Suju’ BYEON Yeong-ro
- - ‘2018 Suju Literary Festival’ held from October 26-27
- - Full of things to see and do including the Suju Literary Awards, literature concerts, exhibitions and hands-on experiences
- The Suju Literary Festival, held to commemorate the career and literary world of Korean poet BYEON Yeong-ro, who famously wrote ‘Nongae,’ came to a close on October 27.
The ‘2018 Suju Literary Festival’ was held from October 26-27 in the lawn plaza outside Bucheon City Hall and the Fantastic Cube. This year the event was expanded to include not only the literature awards ceremony, but a variety of cultural concerts, experiences, exhibits and campaigns as well!
The ‘Eungeun Jam Literature Concert IN Bucheon’ was held as a preliminary event on the 26th, showcasing stories unique to Bucheon through the themes of art and literature. The concert was popular with young literature lovers. The main event, held on the 27th, kicked off with the Suju Forum and featured a variety of activities that approached the life and literature of ‘Suju’ BYEON Yeong-ro from a new perspective.
The ‘Big Book Talk Concert’ held in the lawn plaza outside Bucheon City Hall began with a presentation by poet KIM Yong-taek called ‘What is a Poem?,’ in which he taught local residents how to write everyday poetry. Meanwhile, the ‘Bookshop for Listening to Suju’s Poetry’ event was an exhibition and hands-on experience where visitors could take part in activities including transcribing poems, practicing calligraphy and viewing a display of cartoons in which poems were read.
As the highlight of the festival, the awards ceremony served as an occasion to honor many talented writers through the presentation of the 20th Suju Literary Awards and the 15th Bucheon New Writers Awards. Some local residents were selected to recite the winning poems at the ceremony, and renowned singer KIM Min-young added to the atmosphere by reciting BYEON Yeong-ro’s poem ‘Nongae’ in a Pansori performance.
Bucheon Cultural Foundation head LIM Hye-jin stated “In addition to the Suju Literary Awards, this year’s festival was also designed to make the life and literature of ‘Suju’ BYEON Yeong-ro more accessible to the average person.” She went on to say “With so many locals coming out to enjoy the festival and congratulate the awardees despite the cold weather, it was a great occasion to experience Bucheon’s freshness as a Creative City of Literature.”
02Pearl Buck Festival
Bucheon also hosts the Pearl Buck Festival, a celebration of Pearl S. Buck (1892-1973), a world-famous novelist and Nobel laureate. Immediately after the Korean War broke out, Pearl Buck established an orphanage in Bucheon to take care of war orphans and children born between U.S. soldiers and Korean women. The festival was inaugurated in 2006 along with the opening of a memorial hall commemorating her service to the city. An important part of the festival is the Pearl Buck Literary Award and Pearl Buck Community Service Award, which honor the author's contribution to literature and her spirit of volunteerism. The latter awards are presented by the Minister of Gender Equality and Family. In memory of Pearl Buck's service to society, Bucheon strives to protect and promote cultural diversity in view of the social changes taking place in the city.
- The 17th Bucheon City Book Festival was held in 2017 under the theme of “The Life-changing Power of Literature.” Twelve programs were organized in cooperation with small libraries and school libraries to celebrate Bucheon’s selection as a UNESCO Creative City in Literature.Bucheon City Book Festival has evolved into a leading regional book festival that helps to boost the local economy. There were also a number of programs for families to enjoy together. Notably, six publishing companies belonging to the Korean Publishers Association worked alongside neighborhood bookstores to support the book festival, promoting ties between the local community and the publishing industry and contributing to the regional economy. A total of 4,000 people participated in the festival.
Hosted by Bucheon City in association with Bucheon City Library and the Bucheon Association of Small Libraries, the 18th Bucheon Book Festival was held on September 29 in the lawn plaza outside Bucheon City Hall.
The festival was previously called the ‘Library Culture Party’ up until 2016, but was greatly expanded last year alongside the change in name. Through cooperation between public libraries, private libraries, small libraries, publishers and local bookstores in Bucheon, the festival was planned as an outdoor event so that as many people as possible could participate.
On the day, the lawn plaza was filled with a variety of fun events including hands-on experience booths, exhibits, programs and special performances that ran from 10am until 5pm. The central stage featured performances including a balloon circus, the Joy brass band, and a book concert with SO Bok-i, author of ‘The Boy’s Heart,’ which won the 2018 Bucheon award for comic books.
The plaza was filled with visitors checking out the 26 hands-on experience and display booths organized by local bookstores in association with 13 publishers. In particular, the ‘Fairytale Recreation’ and ‘Witch’s Fairytale Narration’ at the private library booth and the ‘Magic Show’ at the Creative City of Literature booth were popular with children visiting the event.
Beloved author KIM Young-ha gave a special lecture at 2pm inside the Eoul Madang on the 2nd floor of City Hall. KIM is known as the author of ‘A Murderer's Guide to Memorization’ and ‘Brother has Returned,’ and has appeared on the TV show ‘Encyclopedia of Useless Facts.’ During the lecture, entitled “The things that happen when we read a novel,” KIM spoke about the role of novels and the positive changes that reading can bring about, drawing from his own experiences with books.
This festival remains one question on the minds of organizers, “What can we do to integrate libraries more closely into the lives of everyday people?” Bucheon City Libraries would continue to seek an answer to this as they planned the book festival each year.