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Teaching sijo in America

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By Mark Peterson

I wrote last time about the Sejong Cultural Society based in Chicago and their annual fundraiser. Today I want to write about their annual teachers' workshop for American teachers to learn how to teach sijo in American classrooms. The workshop was a huge success with teachers attending from all across America.

The daylong seminar was held in Indianapolis, Indiana, and co-sponsored by Indiana University. There were teachers from California, Maryland, Georgia ― east coast, west coast ― and all around the Midwest. Teachers were given sessions on various aspects of sijo, were taught how to write sijo, and shown comparisons to Chinese jueju (quatrain poetry) and Japanese haiku. The culmination of the day's activities was a sijo-writing contest for the teachers.

The Sejong Cultural Society deserves great credit for planting sijo in America. The sijo is the format, a three-line poem, but the language is English. For 11 years now the Sejong Cultural Society has sponsored an online contest for American high school students (although there are some primary school students who enter as well). Beginning this past year, they started a new division ― for adults, post-secondary students and non-students. This past year there were over 1,000 high school students who entered the contest,........

© The Korea Times