Interview // The Only History I Can Claim: A Conversation with E.J. Koh

Seattle poet E. J. Koh writes with both a delicate and brutal hand. Whether staring into the eyes of a loved one or a murderer, her work is unblinking. Her poems mine dichotomies in homes and languages, shedding light on her own difficult childhood, during which she was separated from her parents for nine years. Koh, who didn’t speak until almost five years old, now wins awards for her poetry and adoration for her translations. A Korean-American, Koh grew up with immigrant parents and when she talks about her history, she does so with a voice saturated in reflection and interpretations. We wanted to catch up with the author to talk about her recent collection, A Lesser Love (Pleiades Press, 2017), to see what she’s working on now and to glean a few insights into her illustrious creative process.