The Slowdown episode 990 from November 2, 2023 features “Feeding the Koi” from The Corrected Version (March 2023) by Rosanna Young Oh.
Today’s poem exemplifies those moments when sometimes we cannot speak or act on our truth because of debilitating fears. And on occasion, art is what provides clarity when we seek signs beyond the surface of our worlds.
Listen to the full episode on The Slowdown (website).
At its heart, Rosanna Young Oh’s debut collection of poems, The Corrected Version, is an immigrant narrative that ponders what it means to be an American. Who or what do we leave behind when we move to a new country? Who or what do we take with us? Traveling through Korean folklore, paintings, Long Island, a family grocery store, and Buddhism, the book meditates on the process of making meaning out of the lives we create for ourselves—a task that has the speaker relentlessly questioning, investigating, erasing, and rewriting the stories she ultimately chooses to inherit as her own. A book about survival, it is also a journey made gentle by moments of love and compassion.
Rosanna Young Oh is a Korean American poet and essayist who was born in Daejeon, Korea, and grew up on Long Island. Her writing has appeared in publications such as Best New Poets, Harvard Review Online, Blackbird, and 32 Poems. A graduate of Yale, Johns Hopkins, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, she lives and writes in New York.