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Moving to Korea for a year

I am moving to Korea in two weeks for a one year teaching contract. It is a very good deal. Free lodging, HEALTH BENEFITS, good pay. Plus a culture I am not at all familiar with. I posted my cv on an ESL job board and the next day I got six requests for phone interviews. Amazing. So less than two weeks later I have signed a contract and they are paying for my flight. I will teach elementary kids English in Incheon (right outside Seoul). 25 hours a week. No composition essays to grade. I will save about $14,000 for the year after my living expenses and potential travels to China, Japan etc. All around good deal.

I almost accepted a teaching job in Poland, but with a few outside bills it would be really tight. I am considering going to Poland and teaching later. I'll see how the year goes, but I may just travel around eastern Europe after Korea and teach ESL. I need to see and experience a little more of the world now that I've lived in the U.S. for 18 years. The sad thing is I am going to drop off a shitload of poetry books at the Bookshop in chapel Hill because I am moving out permenantly and I can't lug around all my books.

I also just purchased a 12 inch Powerbook so I will post to the blog about once a week while I am in Korea.

I am going to choose about five books of poetry for my trip (I am going to store about two boxes of poetry books while I am gone).

I have two questions:

1) If you could pick five books of poetry to take with you for a one year stint in another country, which five?

2) Anyone know any Korean poets of the experimental kind?


Dan said…
Jack Gilbert's THE GREAT FIRES


Larry Levis's ELEGY


Scott Pierce said…
Jim Goar is teaching in Seoul
Laura Carter said…
Marcus It's so funny that you were telling me all about this (while we were discussing the ceiling, right) and I was going to apply and here you go. Best to you.
postpran said…

Tis strange how things come together. I am excited and nervous. You should check it out after you're done with university.
amy said…
I can barely reply, your news has made me sad for selfish reasons. I wish you luck, love, and an all around grand time!

Johannes said…

Seattlean Don Mee Choi has published a chapbook of Kim Hye-Sun translations with Tinfish Press (out any day now, perhaps not quite yet). I think it's amazing. You can read some of it in an issue of Circumference a while back.

postpran said…
Thanks Johannes. I'll check out Kim Hye-Sun.
Laura Carter said…
Marcus for poetry (what's sad is that I might not take all poetry) I would take maybe

_Moving Borders_ ed. MM Sloan

_Crossing Centuries_ ed. John High

(both of the above are T House books)

_some sort of collected Stein if you can even find such a thing_ (mine are all scattered books here & there)

_some French anthology maybe Mary Ann Caws make sure it has all of Rimbaud_

_probably Williams vol. 2 but maybe both_
Anonymous said…
When we talk and you mention all the places in asia you want to see i will mention thailand many many times.

I am flying out of ashville North Carolina on the 2nd of Jan. layover in Detroit. then to japan. then to inchon.

how abouts you going?

postpran said…

I just got my e ticket. I am leaving on December 31st. From Greensboro to Chicago to Inchon. Then a day's rest and the school is flying me to Japan to get my visa stuff done. It's going to be a long trip.
Shin Yu said…
Small press publisher Jerry Tumlinson of Third Ear Books teaches ESL at a local university based out of Seoul.
JWG said…
If you fly to japan, and wait to get yr visa, are you going to be in Narita? If so, there is a bar called "The Truck" supposed to be right near the airport. two of my friends met their future wives there. It is a stewardess hangout. (both of the women are thai and at the time were working for Thai air). I've yet to go to the bar, but if i had to spend a day in that city, i would probably go there
Erin B. said…
Congratulations and nothing but! I can't wait to hear about your antics/ teaching in Korea. Yay risks.

Without too much thought gone into it, here's my gut reaction to your 5 books question.

The Collected Levis :: Larry Levis

Uncertain Grace :: Rebecca Wee

Poems Of Nazim Hikmet, Revised And Expanded Edition

Sweet Machine :: Mark Doty

The Good Thief :: Marie Howe

Marcus, what have you narrowed it down to?
nolapoet said…
Have fun--I have been tempted to do the overseas ESL thing, but there are two of us and we prefer Latin America.

You might have a look at IU Bloomington's online ESL postgrad cert while you're abroad. The massive class sizes in many Asian nations tends to be a problem, according to other IU ESL folks who have taught there.

Please consider sending some of those poetry books to New Orleans' poets, who have lost so much after Katrina. Details at -- but send 'em FedEx Ground!!!

Have fun,
Robin Kemp
a native New Orleanian and poet trapped in Jonesboro, GA since 2002
JWG said…
In Seoul i have between 6 and 18 students in a class, in Bangkok i had between 35 and 80.

AFTER ALL, William Matthews


WATER STREET, James Merrill


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