"Dobbs is an astonishing poet. The poetry in Paper Pavilion is by turns lyric and incisive, operatic and sweeping. There is a resonant passion that fills every page. With this heartbreaking and exhilarating debut, Dobbs has established herself as one of the most compelling and important poets of her generation."
— David St. John
"I admire the versatility of this new poet. Dobbs paints a wide canvas . . . Motifs and ideas travel borderless, meandering from personal to transnational, from the lush literary to the hip and speedy here and now. Ultimately, Paper Pavilion is a fascinating read and a happening first book."
— Marilyn Chin
"Jennifer Kwon Dobbs writes a harrowing poem . . . Think of Wallace Stevens worrying about the traversing of the void, yes, folded and jeweled like time . . ."
— Norman Dubie
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Through the language of a post-Korean War diaspora, opera, fairy tales, and mythic landscapes, Jennifer Kwon Dobbs´s debut collection of poems steers its readers through "a shape of loss I cannot trace" to construct alternative histories that span cultural and geographic distances. Winner of the White Pine Press Poetry Prize and the New England Poetry Club's Sheila Motton Book Award, Paper Pavilion uses traditional English and Korean language forms – namely sijo written by anonymous kisaeng, Korean women artists during the Choson Dynasty – in search of "mater/ the heart of matter/ matter with a heart/ maternus and everything bearing her trace,/ bearing her variously in the grain of everything."
"After 13 years of trying to locate my Korean family, I faced the awful likelihood of never finding them [...] This chapbook emerges from the urgency to talk back to that void. [...] Here is a tentative doorway cut from all the fissures and fracture I collected while blindfolded."
— Author's introduction
Read Notes from a Missing Person with original artwork from Jane Jin Kaisen.