Ahn Do-Hyun (born 1961) is a South Korean poet and university professor.
Ahn Do-Hyun was born in 1961 in Yecheon, Gyeongsangbuk-do. While in high school, he joined the creative writing club ‘Taedonggi Literary Society’, coming to know fellow writers such as Hong Seung-woo, Seo Jeong-yoon, Park Deok-gyu, Kwon Tae-hyeon, Ha Eung-baek, and Lee Jeong-ha. He received many awards such as various writing contests and creative writing competitions across the country including the ‘Hakwon Literary Award’. In 1980 he entered Wonkwang University for Korean literature, and he was also active as a member of Guksi, a literary communication journal that was being published in Daegu, along with writers Park Gi-young, Park Sang-bong, and Jang Jung-il. He began his literary career as his poem “Nakdong River” (낙동강) won the Daegu Maeil Shinmun New Writer’s Contest in 1981, and his poem “Jeon Bong-jun Goes to Seoul” (서울로 가는 전봉준) won the Dong-A Ilbo New Writer’s Contest in 1984.
He started his career in education as he became a Korean language teacher at Iri Middle School on February 1985, but he was fired from Iri Middle School on August 1989 for having joined the Korean Teachers and Education Workers Union (KTU). Afterwards, until February 1994 he worked at the Iri Iksan branch of the KTU, and was also active as a member of the ‘Society of Educational Creative Writing’ with Kim Jinkyung, Do Jong-Hwan, Bae Chang-hwan, Jo Jae-do, Jeong Yeong-sang, Jo Seong-sun, and Jo Hyeon-seol. In March 1994 he was transferred to Sanseo High School in Jangsu Jeollabuk-do, but he resigned from teaching on February 1997, and turned to writing full time. Afterwards, he received a master’s degree and a doctorate degree in creative writing at Dankook University’s Graduate School. He is currently a creative writing professor at Woosuk University.
Ahn Do-Hyun’s poetry is rooted in traditional lyric poetry. He is seen as a poet that depicts the reality of the nation and society with fine sensitivity beyond personal levels, despite the fact that he uses personal experiences as the base of his poetry. He published various poetry collections: Jeon Bong-jun Goes to Seoul (서울로 가는 전봉준) (1985), which lyrically depicts life and history from a perspective of youthful innocence; Modakbul (모닥불 The Bonfire) (1989), which contains introspection into the loneliness and the reality of surrounding life; Geuriun yeowoo (그리운 여우 The Longing Fox) (1997), which deals with issues of the time period and inner conflict; and Badatga woocheguk (바닷가 우체국 The Post Office By the Sea) (1999), which deals with rather average thing such as a post office by the sea and a countryside barber shop in sympathetic and romantic way. He has also published Badatga woocheguk (바닷가 우체국 The Post Office By the Sea) (2003) , Neo-ege garyeogo gangeul mandeuleotda (너에게 가려고 강을 만들었다 I Made a River To Go To You) (2004), Amugeotdo anin geot-e daehayeo (아무것도 아닌 것에 대하여 On Something That is Nothing) (2005), and Ganjeolhage cham cheoleopsi (간절하게 참 철없이 Desperately Naïve) (2008). For fiction, he has written The Salmon Who Dared to Leap Higher (연어) (1996), which depicts a salmon’s return to its birthplace as a story of struggle of growth and the pain of love.
Ahn Do-Hyun is a poet who has expressed romantic emotions with excellent realism based on a clear poetic mind. His poetry has been praised as showing clear lyricism that arouses originality with poetic language that is universal and can be easily read. The poet wrote mainly about the sorrow of poverty-ridden life until the early 90s. After the late 90s, he distanced himself from direct depiction of reality, and started to explore into nature and the simple life. His recent poetry collections show that such exploration is enabling him to go to a level that makes poetic introspection on such ‘relationships’ possible.