Jennifer Kwon Dobbs on 1:48 Voices from within the Korean Diaspora

My friend, professor, writer and activist Jennifer Kwon Dobbs was on 1:48 Voices from within the Korean Diaspora. From the website:

Featured guest : Jennifer Kwon Dobbs – author of “Paper Pavilion,” currently working on second book, guest editor of the 3rd edition of JKAS and assistant professor of English at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota

Reporting by: kim thompson

*** Jennifer Kwon Dobbs’ bio:
“Jennifer Kwon Dobbs received the New England Poetry Club’s Shelia Motton Book Award for her debut collection of poetry, Paper Pavilion (White Pine Press 2007). Currently assistant professor of English at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, Kwon Dobbs is working on an essay collection about the political geographies of overseas Korean adoptee birth searches and a second book of poetry.”

Blog and info about Paper Pavilion:

About the show:

About 1:48

This is a report that will air once every 3 weeks and will feature korean adoptees who are artists, activists, and philosophers.

I (kim thompson) will do the reporting and through the suggestions of others as well as my own contacts bring on different voices from within the adoptee community who live both in Seoul and abroad. For the time being it will air as a regular report that is featured on the “Steve Hatherly Show”

The reason that I’ve named the report thus is due to this fact (which I extracted from an article by Jane Jeong Trenka )

“since 1953 about 200,000 korean children have been sent to the west for adoption. with korea having a population of approximately 48 million this means one in every 48 korean citizens is affected by adoption. this show will feature some of those 200,000 who have returned home.”

Click here to listen to Jennifer Kwon Dobbs.

Autumn in Champaign

Autumn is in full swing in Urbana-Champaign, and I am under house arrest for two weeks because of my specialty field exam. Today I stepped out to grab some lunch, and although the sun was hidden behind a blanket of grey, I was struck by the beauty of the trees and leaves and nature all around. I love Autumn. There’s nothing more beautiful than watching the entire world change around you, not just one time, but four times every year.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about my role models: children’s youth advocates, pastors and their wives, politicians, politicians’ wives, etc. Specifically, three of my role models are Laura Bush, Audrey Hepburn and Jackie Kennedy. Aside from other problems inflicted by the Bush administration, Laura Bush invests a lot of time and money in librarianship. Her tenure as First Lady has significantly altered the landscape of and attention to libraries in this country. Hopefully whoever comes next will not drop us from her agenda. Hepburn, whose childhood was anything but comfortable, spent many years working with children and lobbying for children’s rights in other countries. She didn’t just give money; she gave her heart and her hands. Jackie O instilled pride in Americans at a time when Americans weren’t feeling very proud. Also, she was an avid reader and writer througout her life. With the exception of the “gypsy” comment, I really like this poem:


I love the Autumn,

And yet I cannot say

All the thoughts and things

That make me feel this way.

I love walking on the angry shore,

To watch the angry sea;

Where summer people were before,

But now there’s only me.

I love wood fires at night

That had a ruddy glow.

I stare at the flames

And think of long ago.

I love the feeling down inside me

That says to run away

To come and be a gypsy

And laugh the gypsy way.

The tangy taste of apples,

The snowy mist at morn,

The wanderlust inside you

When you hear the huntsman’s horn.

Nostalgia – that’s the Autumn,

Dreaming through September

Just a million lovely things

I always will remember.

-Jacqueline Bouvier

Keep a Poem in Your Pocket

Last night I had a conversation with a friend about the types of books we like to read. We mentioned novels, biographies, short stories, poetry etc. I was sad that we both didn’t have much time for leisure reading, so last night before I went to bed I flipped through one of my favorite collections of poetry: A Family of Poems, compiled by Caroline Kennedy for children. I was fixated on “Keep a Poem in Your Pocket.” The words may appear simple, but they’re rich with meaning. They really speak to the value of what a poem can do for your soul: “you’ll never feel lonely.” That’s what words are to us. Words give meaning to life. Words comfort us. Words feed our souls. Words are our friends. 

Keep a Poem in Your Pocket

Keep a poem in your pocket

and a picture in your head

and you’ll never feel lonely

at night when you’re in bed.

The little poem will sing to you

the little picture bring to you

a dozen dreams to dance to you

at night when you’re in bed.


Keep a picture in your pocket

and a poem in your head

and you’ll never feel lonely

at night when you’re in bed.

– Beatrice Schenk de Regniers

Quoted from A Family of Poems: My Favorite Poetry for Children, collected by Caroline Kennedy