Remembering Joseph....

I was saddened to read a couple days ago that Joseph Steinberg had died.  Joseph was a prolific writer and had been a frequent contributor to Pusanweb/Koreabridge in our early days. You can read a fuller self-description below, but I think the tagline for his blog captures what Joseph was about - "Skepticism with a Heart'.  His writing sometimes had an acerbic edge, but it was always well researched, attempted to be fair, and came from a place of caring about something.   One of the sites he turned me onto (and the link in his final tweet) was  Like Joseph, the site is devoted to intelligent conversation and tried to provide a space "where thoughtful disagreement is expressed in civil terms".

I spent several hours yesterday looking through old email exchanges with Joseph. A couple things struck me

Seamus Heaney

Seamus Heaney died today. He was 74. By no means a young man, but in this day and age it cannot be denied that one of the world’s greatest poets has left us early, and this is to say nothing of the feelings I can barely imagine his family and friends are suffering under as we speak.

I was once in the same room as him. That is the best that I can say of my personal relationship with him. It was in UCD and he was presenting on a reworked version of the Antigone, where he spoke about the challenge of translation and representing the Ancient Greek classic in the twenty first century. To tell the truth, I can’t recall if we went up and introduced ourselves or not. He struck me as I did not expect someone of his significance to strike me; down to earth, honest, and light hearted, with a deep and warm voice from which words seemed like they were happiest coming from.

Remembering J.P. Chae-Pyong Song (1960-2013)


Although I only interacted online with Dr. Song (who insisted that I call him 'JP') a few times, I was delighted to republish his poetry translations on Koreabridge for the last few months. His work added a unique literary voice to our site and his translation of Snow by Kim Soo-Young was a timely feature during our recent snowy winter on the peninsula.  I found out this week that JP had been seriously ill for quite a while and died earlier this month.  To honor his life and work, I have posted several links below along with tributes from his memorial service.

-Jeff Lebow (manager@)

Destination: Gangjin (Jeollanam-do)

While in town for the Gangjin Celadon Festival, the Lady in Red and I decided to meander our way through the tiny county in Jeollanam-do. It's technically an 읍 (eup, or rural county), and with a mere 41,000 people living there it's far from densely populated. As usual, we started from the bus terminal and peeked at the tourist information / map to help us decide where to go.

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