Review: The Corrected Version (March 2023) by Rosanna Young Oh
The poems of The Corrected Version are ones of departure and stranding, and consequent metaphysical longing. In a collection that abounds with transportations to faraway landscapes and with Korean mythos, the author’s parents and familial figures are lodestones to understanding the frustrations of immigration. Tellingly, in “Erasures,” she writes of her father: “his favorite story is the myth of Odysseus” and “Maybe he’s erased too much of himself / in his pursuit of a ‘life.’”
Read the full review by Diode author Schneider K. Rancy (Self-Portrait In Hospital As Camus, 2023) in World Literature Today.
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.
SK Rancy is a writer born to Haitian immigrants in South Florida. He is a graduate of Columbia University, where he earned a BA in English & comparative literature and biology. His poetry has been longlisted for Button Poetry's Chapbook Contest, a finalist for Tupelo Quarterly's Poetry Prize, and has been published or is forthcoming in Columbia New Poetry, Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine, Ars Medica, Apogee, SeventhWave, MokoMagazine, AdirondackReview, PorridgeMagazine, and Sargasso: A Journal of Caribbean Literature, Language & Culture. His unpublished novel Beyond The Baths Of Stars was a semi-finalist for Black Lawrence Press’ Big Moose Prize and a finalist for the University of New Orleans’ Publishing Laboratory Contest. His debut full poetry collection, Dreams Of Diaspora, is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press in 2023. In his spare time, he is a surgical resident in Manhattan.