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Delving Into the British-Korean Experience to Expose the Universality of Grief

‘Aftereffects’ by Debut Poet Jiye Lee released on March 19th, 2021

In our current pandemic, worldwide grieving and love unite us all, regardless of language or nationality. Having previously been commissioned by New Creatives

North and forthcoming on BBC platforms, Jiye Lee is a poet unafraid to tackle vast topics of love and death in her debut poetry chapbook, ‘Aftereffects’ this Spring.

Making the familiar exquisite, Jiye Lee shows her extraordinary ability to distil emotion into a few words. Her debut collection Aftereffects is a lyrical chapbook which explores her experience of British-born Korean life. In an incredibly moving collection, these poems pull us in through her singular insight, whilst allowing readers to recognise themselves and loved ones in the universality of grief. Her poems, at times playful, at times sober, describes her family and multicultural experiences.

This collection,’ Lee states ‘originated from a place of anguish and heartbreak. When my father unexpectedly passed in 2016, I had no time to grieve and was overwhelmed by the sudden responsibility of providing for my family. Whenever I could, I tried to journal my confusion and pain. Writing enabled me to facilitate that emotional urgency and became my own form of solace. When I looked back at my journal entries however, I realised that I’d more or less created accidental poetry.

As I began to learn more about the craft itself, I started to shape these raw emotional entries into a more cohesive form and also write about other things. However, my mind kept returning to themes of survival, death, sacrifice, and mortality. Over time, as I became more aware and accepting of my grief, I started to touch upon other things such as nostalgia, mental health, humanity, love, and even hope.

Whilst this collection documents a journey of personal grief, I also hope it will resonate with anyone who has lost a loved one and feels they are unable to 'get back to life.' The process of grief and healing is an emotional journey that is never linear, just as mine is reflected through my poems.’

Alongside contemplations on family interactions and how we are shaped by relationships, Jiye considers more tangible aftereffects, such as those left by war and politics. To order ‘Aftereffects’, go to or order from any major book retailer now.

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