Sejong Writing Competition Judges

2022 Sejong Writing Competition


Sijo Judges: David McCann | Mark Peterson | Seong-Kon Kim | Gyung-ryul Jang |
Essay Judges: Sung Woo | Melanie Han | An Na


David McCann


David McCann served in the first Peace Corps group to go to Korea, 1966-68, then received M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Harvard University. He taught Classical Japanese language and literature at Cornell University, and then Korean literature at Cornell and at Harvard. He retired in 2014 as the first Korea Foundation Professor of Korean Literature at Harvard.

David has published 32 books. Eleven collections of his poems have been published, including a dual-language edition of his sijo poems, Urban Temple, originally published by Bo Leaf Books in 2010, from Changbi Publishers, Seoul, in 2012. Three of his collections—Out of Words, Lost and Found, and Same Bird—have been published by Moon Pie Press. Most recently, a chapbook collection of his poems, The Under Story, was published by the poets group Every Other Thursday, in 2021.

David McCann’s poems have received a Pushcart Prize, Touchstone Award, and publication in Haiku 2015, 100 notable Haiku from 2014. He received the Korean Manhae Prize in 2004 and the Korean Culture Order of Merit in 2006. His sijo poem “Landscape,” published in the Arlington Red Letter Poem Project, was translated and carved into one of the stones in the Sijo Stones Garden in Boryeong, Korea.

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Mark Peterson


Mark Peterson (Professor Emeritus of Korean history, literature and language, Department of Asian and Near Eastern Languages. Brigham Young University, Provo, UT) received B.A.'s in Asian Studies and Anthropology from Brigham Young University in 1971. He received his M.A. in 1973 and his Ph.D. in 1987, both from Harvard University in the field of East Asian Languages and Civilization.

Prior to coming to BYU in 1984 he was the director of the Fulbright program in Korea from 1978 to 1983. He has been the coordinator of the Asian Studies Program and was the director of the undergraduate programs in the David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies.

Dr. Peterson is a member of the Association for Asian Studies, where he was formerly the chair of the Korean Studies Committee; was also the book review editor for the Journal of Asian Studies for Korean Studies books. He is also a member of the Royal Asiatic Society, the International Association for Korean Language Education, the International Korean Literature Association, and the American Association of Korean Teachers. He served as past editor-in-chief for the Korea Journal, published by UNESCO in Korea, from 2015 to 2017.

Currently he is working with a research center he founded called The Frog Outside the Well Research Center, which publishes an active YouTube channel by that name. He also writes a weekly column for the Korea Times.

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Seong-Kon Kim


Seong-Kon Kim is a Professor Emeritus of Seoul National University and a Visiting Scholar at Dartmouth College. From 2012 to 2017, Kim was President of the Literary Translation Institute of Korea, which was a Vice Minister level post.

On May 19, 2017, Kim received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the State University of New York. In 2018, Kim taught at George Washington University as Dean's Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Humanities and at the University of Málaga in Spain as a Visiting Professor. In the same year, Felipe VI, King of Spain, decorated Kim with La Orden del Merito Civil. In 2019, Kim taught at the University of California, Irvine as a Visiting Professor.

Professor Kim received his Ph.D. in English from SUNY/Buffalo under Professor Leslie A. Fiedler and studied comparative literature at Columbia University under Professor Edward W. Said. Professor Kim has received, among others, the SUNY/Buffalo International Distinguished Alumni Award, CU Distinguished Alumnus Award, and the Fulbright Distinguished Alumnus Award. In 2008, Kim received the Kim Hwantae Award for Literary Criticism and in 2014 the Woo Ho Humanities Award.

He was the founding President of the Korean Association of Literature and Film, President of the International Association of Comparative Korean Studies, President of the Korean Association of Modern Fiction in English, and President of the American Studies Association of Korea.

Kim was editor of literary journals such as Literature & Thought, 21st Century Literature, and Contemporary World Literature. In addition, Kim has been a regularly featured columnist for the Korea Herald since 2003. His Herald columns have frequently appeared in international media such as The Star, The Straits Times, and The Empire State News.

Previously, Professor Kim has taught at the University of California, Berkeley, Pennsylvania State University, and Brigham Young University and conducted research at Harvard-Yenching Institute and Oxford University.

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Gyung-ryul Jang


Gyung-ryul Jang received his B.A. and M.A. degrees in English from Seoul National University, Korea, and his Ph.D. degree in English from the University of Texas at Austin.

Dr. Jang is now professor of English at Seoul National University.

He has contributed numerous articles on contemporary literary theory and Korean literature to various literary journals in Korea. He has recently published two books of critical essays in sijo poetry: Poetics of Temporality: Toward a New Understanding of Sijo Poetry (Seoul: Seoul National University Press, 2013); and What Does Change and What Should Not Change: Critical Essays in Sijo Poetry (Seoul: Literary Notebook Pub. Co., 2017). Some other recent publications are as follows: Joy of Reading Poetry: A Critical Reading of Contemporary Korean Poetry (Seoul: Literary Notebook Pub. Co., 2014); What Is Seen and What Is Not Seen: Essays in Korean Literature (Seoul: Moonji Pub. Co., 2016); Somewhere Between Insight and Blindness: Critical Essays in Contemporary Korean Literary Trend (Seoul: Munhakdongne Pub. Group, 2017); and Is it a Petal or a Butterfly?: Essays in Korean Sijo and Japanese Haiku and Tanka (Seoul: Lyric Poetry & Poetics Pub. Co., 2017).

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Sung Woo


Sung J. Woo's short stories and essays have appeared in The New York Times, PEN/Guernica, and Vox.

He has written three novels, Skin Deep (2020), Love Love (2015) and Everything Asian (2009), which won the 2010 Asian Pacific American Librarians Association Literature Award (Youth category). In 2014, Everything Asian was chosen for Coming Together in Skokie and Niles Township.

A graduate of Cornell University with an MFA from New York University, he lives in Washington, New Jersey.

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Melanie Han


Born in Korea and raised in East Africa, Melanie Hyo-In Han recently moved from Boston to Seoul where she’s a writer and a teacher.

Nominated for Pushcart Prizes, Han has received awards from “Boston in 100 Words,” Valiant Scribe, Constellations, The Lyric Magazine, and elsewhere. She is the author of Sandpaper Tongue, Parchment Lips (Finishing Line Press) and the translator of several collections of Spanish poetry (Hebel Ediciones).

She holds a B.A. in English, Spanish, and Linguistics, and an M.Ed. in Secondary English and Spanish from Gordon College, and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing (Poetry and Translation) from Emerson College where she taught in the Writing Studies Program and served as an ELL Consultant.

Currently, Han is the Co-Editor-in-Chief at Flora Fiction and teaches English, Spanish, and Creative Writing.

Learn more about her at

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An Na


An Na is the author of four novels, including The Place Between Breaths, The Fold, Wait for Me, and A Step from Heaven, which was a National Book Award Finalist and won the ALA’s Michael L. Printz Award.

Her honors include the International Reading Association Award asnd the Parents Choice Gold Award, and her books have been named as ALA Best Books for Young Adults and a New York Times Notable Book.

She teaches at Vermont College of Fine Arts in the Writing for Children and Young Adults MFA.

For more information:

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