Born as a mare by the Caspian Sea
Born as a human in the Yenisei Valley , Siberia , a baby shaman
Innkeeper in an unknown land
Born in Samarkand , Central Aisa , mainly worked as a peddler
Born in Inner Mongolia , a shepherd boy
Born in Samjuyŏn, Chosŏn, a slash and burn farmer who played the flute.
Born in Ch'up'ungryŏng, Chosŏn, illiterate firewood gatherer.
Born in Dolsan Island, Yŏsu, monk without a teacher.
Born in Anmyŏn Island, a deaf farmhand who loved to drink too much.



Born in 1933 in the city of Kunsan in Korea’s North Cholla Province, when Korea was under Japanese rule.
He began to write poems. By the time he was eight, he had already studied classical Chinese texts that even much older children usually had difficulty in mastering. In 1942 when he was in grade three, his Japanese headmaster asked him what he hoped to become in the future and got the answer, ‘The Emperor of Japan.’ Ko Un was severely punished for this effrontery.
One day, on his way home from school, he picked up a book lying by the wayside.
It was the well-known leper-poet Han Ha-Un's Selected Poems. He stayed up all night reading it. He describes his reaction: 'My breast seemed torn apart by the force of the shock those lyrics produced on me'. He too wanted to become a leper-poet.

Teacher of Korean and Art, Kunsan Middle-School.
In June, when the Korean War broke out, he was forcibly mobilized by the People’s Army to repair the bomb-damaged runways of an air-force base.
His experience of fratricidal warfare effectively destroyed his rural childhood innocence, bringing him to the verge of mental breakdown, and to attempted suicides, which resulted in him losing the hearing in one ear.

Before the war was over, in 1952, he joined the Buddhist clergy and became the recognized disciple of the great monk Hyo Bong. For the next ten years he lived a life of Zen meditation, always on the move. He traveled the whole country, living by alms.
In 1957 he and another monk founded the Buddhist Newspaper.
As its first editor-in-chief, he began to publish essays and poems.

In 1958 he made his formal debut in the literary world, when his short poem "Tuberculosis" was published in the review Modern Poetry on the recommendation of the renowned poet Cho Chi-Hun.

Around this time he began to suffer from frequent bouts of uncontrollable weeping. Hearing a bird sing made him cry for at least half an hour, sometimes for a couple of hours, and whenever the wind blew or there was moonlight in the yard he cried all through the night. This lasted nearly one year.

Ko Un's first collection of youthful poems, Other World Sensibility, was published. By this time he had become quite well known, not only in Buddhist circles but also in literary ones. He had served as head priest of Chondung Temple, then education director and acting head of Haein Temple, and finally a member of the Central Committee of the National Monks' Association.
Around this time he now began to suffer from frequent bouts of uncontrollable laughter. This lasted nearly two years. Whenever he looked at something, whether it was a human face, a building in the street, or an animal moving, he couldn’t help laughing for 30 or 40 minutes without stopping, something that embarrassed and angered many of his companions and made them shun him.

Many people were shocked when he published a Resignation Manifesto in the Hankook Ilbo and left the Buddhist community.
At this time he read Mikhail Sholokov's Quiet Flows the Don in Japanese translation, and according to him, this great Russian novel caused such a shock by its sheer magnitude and complexity that he burnt his accumulated manuscripts and fell into despair.

Went to the SouthSea for an attempt to commit suicide but failed. Instead, from 1963 until 1966 he lived on Cheju Island, off the south coast of Korea, managing a charity school where he was simultaneously headmaster, teacher of Korean and of art, working without pay.
Every day heavily drunk, suffering from severe insomnia.
Wrote a long poem, 'Nirvana'.
Published his second volume of poetry Seaside Poems: God, The Last Village of Languages (1966).

Returned to Seoul (1967). Began a famous period of nihilism marked by heavy drinking and self-torture, during which he wrote a musical script 'Han River', as well as novels and essays, until another suicide attempt in 1970. He was in a coma for thirty hours after taking poison before regaining consciousness in hospital.
Wrote a long poem ‘Sentence to Death’(1967).
Awakened to an awareness of the real state of the nation under dictatorship through the self-immolation of a laborer Chŏn Tae-Il(1970).
Published a long poem〈Sentence to Death〉(1967), Man is born to be Sad(1967), Things that Make Us Sad(1968), Senoya, Senoya(1969), Sunset on the G-string(1968), Where Shall We Meet Again? A Message of Despair(1970), An Era is Passing Through(1970).

Another great change occurred in Ko Un's career. Rejecting his reputation as a spokesman of Nihilism, he became a militant nationalist poet, actively involved in contemporary social and political events. Took a leading role in the drive against president Park Chung-Hee's plan to amend the Constitution to allow himself a third term in office. Continued to be actively involved in the seemingly endless Korean struggle for human rights and the labor movement.
1950s, he wrote biographies of a famous artist, A Critical Biography of Yi Joong-Sup, and of a celebrated poet, of the colonial period, A Critical Biography of Yi Sang.

When the Association of Writers for Practical Freedom was established in 1974, he became its first secretary-general. He was persecuted by the Korean Central Intelligence Agency, arrested many times and served several prison terms. First imprisonment (1974). Wrote a long poem 'The Continent'. Despite all those intense activities as a key figure for the Korean democracy movements, he kept writing and published prolifically: novels Eclipse(1974) and Little Pilgrim(1974), research books Bibliographical Introduction of Diamond Sutra(1976) and Intellectuals in Korea(1976); collections of poems On the Way to Munui Village(1977), Going into Mountain Seclusion(1977), Early Morning Road(1978), Children’s book, Sunset Glow on the River Ganges(1976), translations from the Chinese, Selected Poems of the Tang Dynasty(1974), and Selected Poems of TuFu(1974), Selected Poems by Kulwon(1975), and Selected Poems from The Book of Odes(1976); prose books For Disillusionment(1976), On a Secular Road(1977), With History, With Sorrow(1977), For Love(1978), For Truth(1978), For the Poor(1978), as well as a biography of the famous buddhist monk poet and independence activist, Biography of Han Yong-Un(1975), which has remained with two other biographies classics in the field.
First Secretary General of the Association of Artists for Practical Freedom and Representative of the National Association for the Recovery of Democracy(1974).
The first winner of "Korean Literature Prize"(1974).
Vice-Chairman of the Korean Assoication for Human Rights(1978).

Vice-Chairman of the Association of National Unity.
Second imprisonment. One eardrum permanently damaged during torture.
In October President Park was assassinated by the head of the KCIA.
Prose books, Penance on the Way to the Horizon and My Unnamable Spirituals.

The military imposed its will once again, and the rise of Chon Doo-Hwan culminated in a coup in May 1980, coinciding with the murderous repression of a popular struggle for democracy in the city of Kwangju.
Arrested, in May, on suspicion of high treason related to Kwnagju Democratization Movement. Third imprisonment.
Was severely tortured, court-martialed, and sentenced to years of imprisonment.

Set free by a general pardon on Liberation Day(August 15)

Again, his life took on a completely new shape. After 50 years of solitary life, on May 5, 1983 Ko Un married Lee Sang-Wha, a young professor of English Literature, and they went to live in the countryside at Ansong about two hours' drive from Seoul.
A collection of short stories, Night Tavern.

Collected Poems was published.
A collection of short stories, A Certain Boy
Cha-Ryong, his only daughter, was born.
Prose books Age of Despair and Hope and You and I on Earth.
With the move to Ansong, Ko Un's creative power entered a new phase of unparalleled productivity; numerous volumes of poetry, novels, and essays were published. He published more than 80 books during the 15 years from 1984 to 1999. A literary critic has called it 'a phenomenon' and 'a great explosion of poetry'.
Poetry books Pastoral Poems (1986), Fly High, Poem!(1986), The Person Who Should Leave(1986), My Evening(1988), Your Eyes(1988), A Big March on That Day(1988).
Novel September Illness(1988).
Prose book Flowers from Suffering(1986).
Literary citicism and research books Literature and People(1986), Poetry and Reality(1986), Leaves Out and Make Blue Mountains(1988), Autobiographies Són of Yellow Soil: My Childhood(1986); and several editions.
Began grand series of narrative poems, Ten Thousand Lives and published 9 volumes (1986-1994).
Began grand epic poem, Mount Paekdu and completed 7 volumes (1987-1994).
Began Maninbo (Ten Thousand Lives), a 30-volume grand series of narrative poems, publishing the first two volumes.
Complete Works(first series, 20 volumes) by Chung-Ha Publishers.
Awarded the first 'Korean Literature Prize'(1987).
Invited to attend several international conferences in Japan, Germany and the USA but he was refused a passport. Often under house arrest.
Co-representative of National Movement for National Constitution, and played a major role in the June Democratization Movement(1987).
Visited USA and Canada to give speeches with one-time passport(1987).
Vice-President of the reorganized Association of Writers for National Literature(1987).
Received Manhae Literature Award(1988).
Visited Japan with one-time passport(1988).
His works were forbidden to be translated into any foreign language.
President of Committee for South-North Writers Meeting.
Fourth imprisonment.
President of the Association of Korean Artists(1989-1990).
Awarded Manhae Prize in Literature.
Ten Thousand Lives, vols. 7, 8, 9.
Prose books Correspondence from Ko Un, Wandering and Running at Full Speed
President of the Association of Writers for National Literature(1992-94)
Poetry books Morning Dew, For Tears, One Thousnad Years of Cry and Love: Lyrical Poems for Mountain Paekdu.
Literary criticism Twilight and Avant-Garde, History is Dreaming
Joined Allen Ginsburg for a joint poetry reading in Seoul
Poetry books Sea Diamond Mountain, What!(Sŏn Poems), Songs in the Street, Grand epic poem Mount Paekdu, vols. 3, 4.
Novel Garland Sutra.
Prose book How I wandered from Field to Field,
Awarded JoongAng Culture Prize.
Publication of first volume of poems translated into English, The Sound of My Waves (Cornell)
 
Invited to Sydney University and Yenching Institute of Harvard University to give speeches with one-time passport.
Traveled across Nepal, Srilanka, and India.
Poetry book Songs for Tomorrow.
Novels Their Field, The Desert I Made.
Pardoned and reinstated by the first civilian government and issued a regular passport for the first time.
First trip to Europe(UK and France) with his family.
Literary event 'Evening with Ko Un' at Yongang Hall to celebrate the 35 years of his writing.
Poetry books The Road Not Yet Traveled.
Prose books Meditation in th Wilderness, Truth Seeker, I Don't Want to Become Awakened.
Reasearch book Diamond Sutra I Go With.
Autobiographies I, Ko Un, vols. 1-3.
Travel book Trip to India.
Resident Professor, Graduate School of Kyonggi University, Seoul 1994-1998).
Traveled to several Scandinavian countries.
Awarded Daesan Prize for Literature. Finished grand epic poem Mount Paekdu, vols. 5, 6, 7.
Invited to Berlin Free University to give speech and do poetry reading.
Visited France by the invitation of Foreign Ministry of France to give speeches, interviews and poetry readings. Featured in a French literary magazine.
Representative of Committee of National Liberation
Poetry book Dokdo Island
Novels, Chongsun Arirang, The Wanderer Poet Kim, vols. 1, 2, 3, Sŏn: a Novel, vols. 1, 2.
Invited to Sydney Writers' Festival. Australian edition of The sound of My Waves, Morning Dew was published.
Invited to 'Center 21', Osaka, Japan to do poetry reading and give speeches.
Book tour in 5 cities in Germany to promote his German poetry edition which was published by Suhrkamp, with many newspaper interviews.
Invited to Rotterdam Poetry International, Netherlands.
Poetry books A Memorial Stone, Ten Thousand Lives, vols. 1, 11, 12.
Poetry reading with American poet Gary Snyder in Berkeley, and a poetry reading at UC Berkeley with American Poet Laureate Robert Hass. Became an honorary resident of Jeong Seon County, KangWon Province. Invited to Guadalajara book Fair, Mexico to do poetry reading and interviews.
Spent 40 days visiting Tibet, Mt. Khailas and the Himalayas.
Poetry books A Memorial Stone, Ten Thousand Lives, vols. 13, 14, 15. Prose book At the Living Plaza. Children's verse Songs for Cha-Ryong, children's book I am a Country Dog.
Visited North Korea for the first time for 15 days with government approval--the poem he wrote in North Korea was directly faxed to South Korea and published in a newspaper for the first time since the armistice in 1953.
'Mountains and Rivers, My Mountains and Rivers--Ko Un’s Poetry Reading' at Arts Center in Seoul for two evenings. Awarded Manhae Grand Prize. Poetry book Whisper.
Spent one year in the United States as a visiting research scholar at the invitation of the Yenching Institute of Harvard University. Wrote a Korean musical script 'Paekbum Kim Ku'. Gave a lecture series on Modern Korean Poetry for one term at UC, Berkeley. Invited to many universities in the USA and Canada to give speeches and poetry readings, including Hawaii University, Chicago University and New York University.
'Ko Un's Poetry Evening' events at Harvard University and in New York. Invited to read poetry at 'Neruda Poetry Reading', Guadalajara Book Fair, Mexico. Awarded Buddhist Literature Prize. Epic poem Far, Far Journey, Novel Sumi Mountain, vols. 1, 2. Travel book Mountains and Rivers, My Mountains and Rivers. Poetry essay book Morning with Poetry.
Traveled to Turkey, Greece and Egypt.
Poetry reading and discussion at the 1st Daesan International Literature Festival
Read a Peace Poem at World Peace Summit at UN.
Visited North Korea as one of the special delegates for the inter-Korean Summit-read a poem written while in North Korea at the state banquet.
Participated in the forum for Korean Studies at Stockholm University and gave a talk and poetry reading at Götborg Book Fair, Sweden.
Invited to Cracow Poetry Festival, Poland.
Co-President of The National Trust of Korea.
Poetry books, South and North, Himalaya Poems
Invited to 'World Poets Day' which was organized by UNESCO and held in Athens, Greece, having poetry readings in Athens, Delphi, and Olympia.
Invited to 'World Academy of Poetry' which was held in Verona, Italy, as one of the 60 inaugurating members.
Invited to Bremen International Literature Forum, Germany.
Invited to International Poetry Festival of Medellin, Columbia.
Invited to give a speech at the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities, Stockholm, and poetry reading at Götborg Book Fair, Sweden.
Invited to have poetry readings, interviews, talks at UC Davis, USA, by Gary Snyder as the first guest of Snyder-Soderquist Lecture Series; talks and poetry readings at UC Berkeley and UC Santa Cruz.
Invited to give a keynote speech at Tokyo International Book Fair by Fugiwara Publishers; interviews with 5 leading newspapers.
Invited to give a talk and poetry readings at the University of British Columbia.
Poetry book, Flowers of a Moment.
Prose collection, The Road Has Traces of Those Who Went Before
Invited to Prague Writers' Festival, Czech Republic; his article 'Poetry and Revolution' was published in the newspaper magazine.
Invited to the International Symposium for Creative Writing, Baikal University, Russia-keynote speech and poetry reading..
Invited to the 1st Asia-Pacific International Poetry Festival, Manila, Philippine-keynote speech and poetry reading.
'With Ko Un' at Frankfurt Book Fair, Germany.
Invited to give a lecture and poetry reading at Berlin Free University, Germany.
Invited to have a poetry reading at Moliere Theatre, Paris, by French Foreign Ministry.
Received Order of Merit for Culture (Silver Crown) from the Korean government.
Poetry books, Poetry Left Behind, Late Songs.
38-Volume Ko Un's Complete Works(Gimm-Young Publishers).
Prose book, Towards a Plaza
Organized the writers' Rally Against the Dispach of the Korean Troops to Iraq.
Directed International Peace Poetry Festival, sponsored by Manhae Foundation-invited poets from 20 countries had Peace Poem reading at Mt. Diamond, North Korea and in Seoul.
Poetry reading and lecture at the Symposium for Modern Korean Literature, organized by the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities, Stockholm.
Invited to an international symposium for Literature and Environment-- organised by ASLE-Okinawa, Japan.
Keynote speech and interviews at the Korea-Japan Intellectual Forum, International Book Fair, Tokyo, Japan.
Poetry reading at Paris University 7 and poetry recording at Radio France Culture, France.
Invited to the 3rd Berlin Literature Festival, Germany.
Chairman of South & North Korea Writers's Conference.
President of Korean Literature Peace Forum-'Peace Literature Festival'
Invited to give a poetry readings at Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington D.C. and at Yenching Institute, Harvard University, USA.
Traveled the Adalucian cities in Spain.
'Literary Evening with Ko Un' at Culture and Arts Theater, Seoul.
Poetry reading and talk at University of Salamanca, Spain.
Poetry reading and speeches for the Spanish edition of Ten Thousand Lives in Madrid and Barcelona, Spain.
Invited to the 17th Ardentissima International Poetry Festival in Murcia and at Cordoba Book Fair, Spain.
Wrote a libretto 'Dangun' (the Founding Father of the Korean nation).
Lecture and poetry reading at 1st Korean-Italian Literature Forum in Venice.
Awarded Danjae Prize.
Ten Thousand Lives, vols. 16-20.
Visited North Korea twice as President of the Joint South-North Editorial Committee for the Compilation of Grand Korean Dictionary.
Visited North Korea as President of South-North Writers' Conference to hold the first-ever meeting of 300 South-North Korean Writers.
Keynote speech at the 2nd Daesan International Literature Festival
Wrote a Pansori(Korean traditional theatrical song) lyric 'Invocation of the Spirits of the Dead'.
Poetry readings in Jena and at Leipzig Book Fair, Germany.
Made a presentation at the International Literature Festival, organized by Daesan Foundation.
Invited to do poetry readings, lectures, interviews, and conversations in several cities in Japan.
Invited to the 3rd Poetry Festival Berlin, Germany.
Invited to do poetry readings and talks at the 14th Bjornson Literature Festival, Molde, Norway.
Lecture and poetry reading at University of Oslo, Norway.
Invited to the 5th Berlin Literature Festival, Germany.
'Literary Speech' at the opening ceremony and poetry readings at the Frankfurt Book Fair, Germany.
Awarded Björnson Order for Literature at Björnson Literature Festival in Molde, Norway.
Awarded Unification Award.
Visited North Korea several times as President of Compliation Committee for the Korea Grand Dictionary
Visited North Korea with South Korean writers to have the first-ever poetry reading with North Korean writers at Mt. Paekdu.
Book tour for the Italian edition of Flowers of a Moment in Rome, Florence, Milan, and Formia, Italy.
Poetry readings and speeches at University of Bordeau and at Paris Book Fair, France.
Book tour for the English poetry book Three Way Tavern across the USA.
Talks and poetry reading at American PEN International, World Voices, The New York Festival of International Literature, and at the 50th anniversary of Allen Ginsberg's Howl, USA.
Invited to Parma International Poetry Festival, Italy.
Invited to the Geraldine R. Dogdge International Poetry Festival in New Jersey--poetry readings and talks as one of the Featured Poets.
Poetry reading and talk at Washington University, St. Louis, USA.
Poetry reading at Harvard University, USA.
Awarded the 3rd Cikada Prize, a Swedish Literary Prize.
Ten Thousand Lives, vols. 21-23.
Poetry book Full of Shame.
Visited North Korea several times as President of Compilation Committee for the Grand Korean Dictionary.
Keynote speech and poetry readings at the 1st Korean-Mongol Symposium for Eurasian Cultural Network at MIU(Mogol International University) in Ulanbataar, Mongolia.
Invited to Seoul National University as a visiting professor (2007-2010)
Invited as a Special Guest to International PEN Asia and Pacific Regional Conference in Hong Kong--poetry reading.
Talk and poetry readings at ARCO in Madrid and at University of Malaga, Spain.
Keynote speech at the 2nd International Colloquium on France and East Asia, organised by The Intellectuals of 21st Century, Tokyo, Japan.
Invited to give a keynote speech and poetry reading at Literature and Environment: Korea-Japan ASLE Joint Symposium, Kanazawa, Japan .
Awarded Young-Rang Literature Prize.
Ten Thousand Lives, vols. 24-26.
Prose Book, A Dialect in the Universe.
President of the Manhae Literature Festival. Member of the Advisory Board for Unification of the Unification Ministry.
Made a keynote speech 'I denounce the name The Third World' at the 1st AALF (Asia Africa Literature Festival) held in Korea.
Chaired meetings both in South and North Korea as President of the Compilation Committee for the Grand Korean Dictionary.
Poetry reading and talk at the Asian Literature Festival organised and held at House of World Culture, Berlin, Germany.
Book tour for Beim Erwachen aus dem Schlaf in Gottingen, Erfurt, and Leibzig.
Poetry reading at the Korean Cultural Centre UK (London) as its first literary event.
Awarded Lifetime Achievement Prize by the Griffin Fund for Excellence in Poetry.
Yusim(Mind) Literature Prize.
Included in the 2008 Year Book of the Encyclopedia Britanica (pp. 84-5).
Made a keynote speech at the Manhae International Literature Festival.
Poetry book Empty Space published by Changbi to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his official debut as a poet. The celebrations continued from the end of August until early December: an art exhibition at the Korea Foundation Cultural Center with readings of Ko Un's poems by 10 ambassadors to Korea in 10 different languages; talks, interviews, forums, and seminars at several universities and in several cities.
Korea Academy of Arts Award.
Became an honorary citizen of SamCheok City, KangWon Province
Featured in the weekly literature magazines, the Iraqi AL ADEEB and the Egyptian AL ARABI.
Continued to work as President of the South-North Compilation Committee of Grand Korean Dictionary
Resident Poet Professor at Dangook University.
Conferred an honorary citizenship from Samcheok City, Gangwon Province, Korea
-Included in 2009 Marquis Who's Who.
-A special volume of poetry containing only one poem ‘A Certain Joy,’ Cierta alegria was published in Spain.
-Finished writing the last four volumes of Maninbo (Ten Thousand Lives) 23 years after the first volume was published in 1986.
-A volume of selected poems, edited by Kim Hyung-Soo, Adolescence over Fifty Years was published to celebrate Ko Un’s fiftieth anniversary of becoming a poet.
-Two prose books, Forest of Ideas and Still I Walk Today.
-Invited to Milosz International Poetry Festival held in Krakow, Poland, and a Polish translation of selected poems Sudden Rain was published by Znak to celebrate his visit to Krakow.
-Italian translation of selected poems Singing Island and Spanish selection of poems Malaga of Thousand Years were published.
-Published the final four volumes of Maninbo, together with a special twelve-volume, hard-bound, complete Maninbo, so completing his 30-volume poetic project (4001 poems with 5600 names) 30 years after he first conceived of it in his prison cell in 1980. An international symposium and celebration was organized to celebrate the event and Robert Hass sent a congratulatory message: “I salut Ko Un on the completion of Maninbo. That poem, or the part of it that has moved and excited readers of the English translation, is a gift to the world, a stunning portrait of the twentieth century in all its humanity and violence, and a tribute to the vitality of the Korean people.”
-Maninbo was chosen as the main theme of the 7th Gwangju Biennale, and The New York Times reported on it.
-Invited to give a poetry reading and talk at Smith College and UCLA, USA (in April), and to attend the Crossings of Civilizations, an International Literary Festival held in Venice, Italy (in May).
-Book tour in Milan, Florence, and Rome, with many Italian poets reading their poems dedicated to Ko Un. Italian translation of selected poems was one of the four finalists in the International section of poetry of the 23rd Camaiore Literary Prize.
-Published prose book The Poetry I Met For the First Time.
-Articles on Ko Un and his literature published in the Asia edition of Time, and in The Irish Times.
-Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) featured Ko Un and his Songs for Tomorrow.
-Received an honorary doctoral degree from Dankook University in recognition of his literary accomplishment represented by Maninbo and lifetime achievement.
-Keynote speech at 23rd IFURO World Congress held in Seoul; keynote speech and poetry reading at 1st International Literature Festival organized by Dankook University.
-Invited to make a keynote speech at 2nd WALTIC(Writers’ and Literary Translators’ International Congress) held in Istanbul, Turkey.
-Book tour in Hanoi, Vietnam
-Participated in the movement to declare the 1910 Korea-Japan Annexation treaty invalid in the year of the centenary of the treaty.
-Continues to write, while teaching at university, serving as the President of the Grand Korean Dictionary Compilation Committee, and invited to give poetry readings and special lectures both in Korea and abroad.
-Chosen as the 2011 winner of The America Awards for a Lifetime Contribution to International Writing by the Contemporary Arts Educational Project, Inc (USA).
-Awarded an honorary doctoral degree from Jonbuk University.
-Poem “Sunlight” is included in a text book for young students in Australia
-Published two poetry collections: Where Did My Frontier Go? & SangWha Poems: Love on the Planet
-German edition of Flowers of a Moment was published. It was selected as one of the 7 books on the ‘Best List’ (the first-ever Korean book) by the Society for the Promotion of AALA(African, Asian and Latin American) Literature, with the remark “Ko Un is a shaman among the great lyric poets of our time.”
-French edition of Whispers was published in Paris.
-Czech translation of selected poems It's was published in Prague.
-Invited as an international guest at the Prague International Book Fair.
- Made an honorary resident of Jeju Special Autonomic Province
-Was unanimously designated as a member of Honor Committee “as an homage to his contribution to the world poetry” on the 10th anniversary of World Poetry Academy.
-Turkish edition of Ten Thousand Lives and Turkish translation of selected poems Songs for Tomorrow were published in Ankara.
-Keynote speech at the International Symposium on Asian Tradition of Storytelling
-English edition of Himalaya Poems and English translation of selected short poems, This Side of Time were published in the USA.
-Honored to become a Human Evergreen Tree
-Conferred an honorary citizenship from Gwangju Metropolitan City
-Invited to the Norwegian, Literature Festival held in Lillehammer, Norway
-Keynote speech at the Asia Culture Forum
-Director of World Arirang Festival
-Invited to the 24th Aldeburgh Poetry Festival, England, for talk and poetry reading.
-A book tour for First Person Sorrowful in London, Oxford, and Cambridge.
-An enlarged revised edition of poetry selection, As If It’s a Feast Day was published to commemorate his 80th birthday(Korean age).
-Published two prose collections, Moonlight over the Two Centuries, Wind’s Thought
-American poet Robert Hass includes an essay ‘Ko Un and Korean Poetry’ in his prose collection What Light Can Do.

-Invited to stay for one semester and give several special lectures at the Ca’Foscari University of Venice, Italy.
-Awarded an Honorary Fellowship by the Ca’Foscari University, Venice. Had a poetry recital at Biblioteca Ambrosiana in Milan and at the Theatre La Fenice in Venice. Invited to read at a poetry evening at the Vicenza International Poetry Festival and at the Literature Festival of Massenzio, Rome. Traveled to many places across Italy, from Bolzano in the North to Sicily in the South.
-Invited for a poetry reading and a panel discussion at ‘Dancing in Other Words’, the first international poetry festival held in Cape Town, South Africa.
-Gave a poetry recital in Nantes, France.
-Traveled to Innsbruck, Austria, and experienced a shower of meteors pouring down on the head all through the night.
-Left Ansong after 30 years and moved to a house in Suwon at the foot of Mount Gwanggyo on the invitation of Suwon City.
-Took the Trans-Siberian train, a long-cherished hope, from Vladivostok to Moscow, then visited Moscow and St. Petersburg, for more than 3 weeks.
-Co-organized the 2nd World Writers’ Festival sponsored by and held in Suwon City and Dankook University.
-A German daily newspaper, Frankfurter Algemeine Zeitung made a congratulatory report on the occasion of his 80th birthday, and a German radio station also broadcast a special programme to commemorate his 80th birthday with the title of “A country, a life “.
-A large poetry collection Untitled Poems was published, containing 607 poems in 1013 pages, probably the longest single poetry collection of new poems ever published. Most of them were written while staying in Italy and visiting European cities.
-British BBC Radio 4 broadcast a special documentary on ‘Ko Un and Maninbo’
-Son poems (in English titled What?) published in Italian and a selection from Maninbo in Czech.

-Visited several cities in Myanmar
-Had a solo poetry recital at SK Artrium in Suwon City
-Had a poetry reading in Raphael Gallery of Victoria & Albert Museum in London and was invited to Berlin Poetry Festival for poetry reading and conversation.
-BBC 4 included reading of his poem ‘Hometown’ in a programme called ‘Something Understood.’
-A love poem (‘Snowfall’) was included in Fifty Greatest Modern Love Poems chosen by poetry specialists at the Southbank Centre in London (reported on Guardian, July 2 http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/jul/02/fifty-greatest-love-poems-30-different-countries )
-Was the recipient of the Golden Wreath Award at the Struga Poetry Evenings held in Macedonia and presented a trilingual (Korean-Macedonian-English) 740-page poetry collection for the honor of being the poet laureate.
-Wrote a poems “Song for the Asiad’ for the 17th Asian Games held in Incheon, Korea and read it at the opening ceremony
-Was commissioned to be a Goodwill Ambassador for Peace by UNESCO, Korea
-An interview and a poem for the late Nelson Mandela were included in Brief an Mandela published in Berlin, Germany.
-Had a solo poetry reading at Harold Washington Library, organized by Poetry Foundation in Chicago, and gave a lecture at University of Illinois at Chicago.
-Gave a lecture and had a solo poetry recital at the ‘Symposium on Ko Un’ at University of Hawaii, Manoa.
-Received the NordSud International Prize for Literature in Pescara, Italy and had poetry recitals in Formia and Salerno, Italy.
-Special poetry editions of Fascination made by a French book maker with paintings drawn by two international artists were exhibited at 2014 Nice Book Fair.
-Was recipient of GongCho Literature Award and of the first Grand Prize for Poetry given by Poetry & Poetics
-Greek translation of Son poems What? was published in Athens, Greece.

-Received an Honorary Doctor from Hanshin University.
-One poem was included in an anthology the UN SRC Society made to promote human happiness and to celebrate International Day of Happiness (March 20).
-Invited to give special lectures in Tokyo and Kyoto, Japan
-Three poems from Himalaya Poems were translated into Rumantsch(Romansh), an old Latin language that is the 4th national language of Switzerland, to be included in a collection of poems and short stories by a Swiss sculptor Not Vital.
-1 poem is included in the selection of Korean poems for the textbook for the secondary schools in Chile, and 3 poems are included in an anthology of Korean poems that is published to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the immigration of Korean people to Argentina
-Participated in a one-week trip along the borderline between North Korea and China to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Korean Independence
-A 50 minute documentary produced by the national television broadcasting service of Macedonia to celebrate Ko Un as the poet Laureate of 2014 Struga Poetry Festival had a preview at Cinematheque of Macedonia in Skopje, Macedonia.
-Invited to have a solo poetry recital at Ledbury Poetry Festival, UK, and gave a poetry reading at the Korean Cultural Center in London.
-Traveled to several cities in Engadin, Switzerland.
-Received Shim Hoon Literature Grand Prize.
-English Maninbo : Peace & War, French translation of Flowers of a Moment , French edition of Himalaya Poems, and Spanish translation of selected poems Time with Dead Poets were published.
-The Ko Un Society was established by 60 academics, scholars, researchers and translators, residing in Korea and abroad.
-Appointed by Archbishop of Milan as the first Korean member of Ambrosiana Academy in Milan, Italy, and gave a talk at the annual International Asian Studies Conference.
-Gave a poetry reading at La Maison de la Poésie and at La Maison de l’Amèrique Latin in Paris, and gave a keynote speech at a symposium held at the École Nationale des Beaux-Arts for FIAC, Paris.
-Had a solo poetry recital titled “Thirsting for Peace’ at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the foundation of UNESCO and also to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the division of Korean peninsula.
-Had a book launch for French translation of Himalaya Poems at CIPM, Marseille, France.
-The Ko Un Foundation was established by about 80 supporters.

-Received an Honorary Doctor from Hanshin University.
-One poem was included in an anthology the UN SRC Society made to promote human happiness and to celebrate International Day of Happiness (March 20).
-Invited to give special lectures in Tokyo and Kyoto, Japan
-Three poems from Himalaya Poems were translated into Rumantsch(Romansh), an old Latin language that is the 4th national language of Switzerland, to be included in a collection of poems and short stories by a Swiss sculptor Not Vital.
-1 poem is included in the selection of Korean poems for the textbook for the secondary schools in Chile, and 3 poems are included in an anthology of Korean poems that is published to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the immigration of Korean people to Argentina
-Participated in a one-week trip along the borderline between North Korea and China to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Korean Independence
-A 50 minute documentary produced by the national television broadcasting service of Macedonia to celebrate Ko Un as the poet Laureate of 2014 Struga Poetry Festival had a preview at Cinematheque of Macedonia in Skopje, Macedonia.
-Invited to have a solo poetry recital at Ledbury Poetry Festival, UK, and gave a poetry reading at the Korean Cultural Center in London.
-Traveled to several cities in Engadin, Switzerland.
-Received Shim Hoon Literature Grand Prize.
-English Maninbo : Peace & War, French translation of Flowers of a Moment , French edition of Himalaya Poems, and Spanish translation of selected poems Time with Dead Poets were published.
-The Ko Un Society was established by 60 academics, scholars, researchers and translators, residing in Korea and abroad.
-Appointed by Archbishop of Milan as the first Korean member of Ambrosiana Academy in Milan, Italy, and gave a talk at the annual International Asian Studies Conference.
-Gave a poetry reading at La Maison de la Poésie and at La Maison de l’Amèrique Latin in Paris, and gave a keynote speech at a symposium held at the École Nationale des Beaux-Arts for FIAC, Paris.
-Had a solo poetry recital titled “Thirsting for Peace’ at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the foundation of UNESCO and also to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the division of Korean peninsula.
-Had a book launch for French translation of Himalaya Poems at CIPM, Marseille, France.
-The Ko Un Foundation was established by about 80 supporters.

-Had an interview with the Dutch National Television.
-Chinese translations of selected poems, Spring Days Have Been Kept Calmly and There are No Lies in Sorrows : Fifty years of Adolescence were published. -Invited as a guest of honor to the Bucharest International Poetry Festival, Romania and had a book launch for the Romanian translation of selected poems, Time with Dead Poets.
-Invited to Hangzhou International Poetry Festival, China and had a book launch for the Chinese translation of Himalaya Poems
-Invited as guest of honor to the 20th ‘Days of Poetry & Wine,’ Slovenian international poetry festival and had a book launch for the Slovenian translation of selected poems I Write in the Air.
-published a poetry collection, Invocation of the Spirits of the Dead
-Invited to have a solo poetry recital at The Library of Congress and at George Washington University in Washington D.C, USA.
-Invited to the 20th Taipei Poetry Festival, where Maninbo was featured.
-Invited to Shenzen Poetry Festival and to Gwangjou, China. At Shenzen his poem 'Song of a Boy' was set to music and performed. A whole page of the Shenzen Daily was dedicated to an interview with Ko Un.
- Received ‘International Poet Prize’ from The Foundation of Rome, gave a speech at the ceremony.
- Had long interviews with the Swedish national daily newspapers Svenska Dobladet, and Dagens Nyheter and French daily newspaper Liberation. Those newspapers ran a special feature on Ko Un and his works.
- A Ko Un poetry monument was erected at Hapdong branch of Kyobo Books: a poetry monument was erected at Gangjeong Maeul, Juju Island with Ko Un’s and a Vietnamese poet’s peace poems.
- Gave a keynote speech at the International Literature Forum organized by the Daesan Foundation. Had a joint poetry recital with American poet Robert Hass at Dankook University.
- Finished a grand epic Cheong based on the Korean traditional story of Simcheong, that took over 10 years to write and that maybe the longest ever epic story in the world.
- Published Swedish translation of selected poems, White Butterfly, Islandic translation of selected poems, Bengali translation of selected poems, Silence of Sculls, French translation of selected poems First Person Sorrowful, Arabic translation of Himalaya Poems, Spanish translation of Flowers of a Moment, Mongolian translation of SangWha Poems and Selected Poems.
- ‘Ko Un’ was displayed as a special part of ‘Korean Literature Abroad’ at Eunpyeong History Hanok Museum in Seoul.
- ‘Maninbo Library’ opened at Seoul Metropolitan City Library.
- Worked as Director of organizing committee for the first International Literature Festival at Asia Culture Hall in Gwangju and had a solo poetry recital.
- Worked as Director of the organizing committee for the first International Literature Festival at the Asia Culture Hall in Gwangju and had a solo poetry recital.
- At the School of Advanced Studies in Social Sciences (EHESS) in Paris, France, Professor Alain Delissen gave seminars on Maninbo during the 2018-2019 academic year.
- Invited to be a visiting professor at KAIST.
- Invited to attend the celebration of the publication of Vietnamese Maninbo in Hanoi, Vietnam; received a special medal from the Vietnamese Union of Artists.
- One Day, a collection of 217 short poems, was published.