The Bucheon Creative City of Literature Office is delighted and thrilled to announce the two lucky winners of the Bucheon Residency 2020 Program. It is our first residency program to invite writers from various UNESCO Creative Cities to Bucheon, providing them with a place to stay and work, a stipend, and various opportunities for exploring culture and interacting with the local scene. Its inaugural residents will be Rory Waterman from Nottingham, UK and Jeff Kisuk Noh from Montreal, Canada
We received 75 applications, and are amazed by the talented artists from the UNESCO Creative Cities around the world. It was a very difficult decision for the Jury to select only two out of such brilliant artists. We would like to thank this year’s applicants for their passionate participation and interests.
Rory Waterman is a poet, critic and editor who lives in Nottingham, UK , where he is Senior Lecturer in English at Nottingham Trent University. He has published three collections, Tonight the Summer’s Over(Carcanet, 2013), Sarajevo Roses(Carcanet, 2017) and Sweet Nothings(Carcanet, 2020). He has read at Cork International Poetry Festival(Ireland), and in Edinburgh, New York, Pula(Croatia), and throughout the UK, with strong belief in the power of poetry as a spoken medium.
Waterman has been interested in borders and how they affect people, broadening his range with the publication of the poetry pamphlet Brexit Day on the Balmoral Estate(Rack Press, 2017). He intends to develop his fourth collection around sequences, contemplating the result of the implementation of borders on the consciences of people, combining creative non-fiction prose works, part travel writing and part documentation, and photographs. Bucheon(Korea) will definitely provide a context for his endeavor in a wholly new creative direction.
*Rory Waterman’s webpage: www.rorywaterman.com
Jeff Kisuk Noh
Jeff Kisuk Noh is currently at work on a novel titled Patrimony. As a Montreal-based Korean Canadian, Noh is interested in exploring the dynamic of the deformations that occur each time members of diaspora are prompted to give an account of their lives: the attenuation, translations, and white lies that make their stories sensible.
Patrimony is an experimental novel that approaches questions for cultural inheritance as they constrain the project of autobiography. The un-named narrator tries to undo the erasures and deformations of colonial history by rewriting his life in Quebec in terms of the diverse cultural practices of Korea, deploying the concept of the patrimoine, from Quebec Civil Law, to trace the unlikely biographical connections between his present-day life in Montreal and his country of birth. The novel is organized as a series of telescoping reflections on cultural artifacts such as the Kizaemon ido(c. 16th century), a Korean tea bowl in Japanese possession, and the Jikji(1377), the oldest surviving work of movable type, currently held at the Bibliotèque national de France.
An excerpt from this novel titled “Jikji” has not only been nominated to the annual Pushcart Prize but also been selected for inclusion in Best Canadian Stories 2020. Noh would like to dedicate the majority of his residency time to bring his novel manuscript to completion while conducting on-site research on the history and cultural traditions of South Korea in Bucheon.
The Bucheon City of Literature Office understands life is rather unsettled at present due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are committed to our newly launched residency program, and are very much looking forward to welcoming Rory Waterman and Jeff Kisuk Noh to Bucheon. We hope that it will be possible to host these winners in our city this coming September-October.
The UNESCO Cities of Literature Network
The UNESCO Cities of Literature is a leading collaborative network of 39 cities with a shared goal to develop and promote the role of literature and creativity in our cities. It brings together a wide range of cultural professionals to share and inspire each other, strengthen exchanges, promote freedom of speech and further develop frameworks for collaboration in key areas.
UNESCO Creative Cities of Literature Residencies
The literary cities have worked towards promoting mobility and exchange of writers. As part of international cooperative initiatives to support the values of creativity and diversity of voices, Bucheon has happily launched its residency program in 2020, following the lead of other literary cities offering residency programs for writers and artists from other UNESCO Cities of Literature and beyond. Bucheon Residency Program will be offered annually onwards.