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Hwang Ji-woo was born in 1952, during the Korean War, in the southern port town Haenam, and studied aesthetics and philosophy at college in the early 1970s, during which he was arrested and tortured for his anti-government activities. He began to publish his poems in 1980 and has since written seven books of poetry including Even Birds Leave the World (1983), From Winter Tree to Spring Tree (1985), and I'll Sit in a Cloudy Tavern Some Day (1990). For his work, Hwang has received many of Korea's most prestigious literary awards, among them the Kim Sooyoung Literary Award, the Hyundae Literary Award, the Sowol Poetry Award, and the Daesan Literary Award. He teaches Drama at the Korean Academy of Theater.