This online project presents Andrea Sun’s research on the award-winning, critically-acclaimed poet Li-Young Lee. The objective is to depict the extensive process and technique of developing and publishing poetry through the works Lee published through BOA Editions between 1997 and 2001. In the process of writing poetry, authors must have inspiration and themes that inspire them to create; however, the editing process is often overlooked. A collection of poems does not materialize without the assistance of trained eyes, and months — if not years — of scrutinization and revisions. Finding the right words, syntax, and structure is often more complex than it appears on the page to a reader; the way a collection is bound into a physical work is quite logistical and methodical.
Li-Young Lee’s writing fuels his attempt to satiate a particular craving for knowledge and understanding, especially when it comes to reconciling ideology and identity. His main inspirations are love, God, and his father; it takes a heavy hand to reconcile these ideas and present them in a digestible, yet continuously provocative way — as poetry is meant to do. In this way, editorial work is the twin of writing, rendering one useless without the other.