Fred Jeremy Seligson was born in 1945 (a "Haebang-dungi /Independence child") in Washington, D.C. After he was born in Doctor's Hospital, a stout nurse held him up to the window, pointed across the street and declared, "Boy, some day you going to live in that White House!," or so he'd tell his pupils, "But, I don't know how I ended up in South Korea!"
F.J. earned a B.A. in International Relations from the University of Southern California in 1967, and a J.D. from Indiana University School of Law in 1970. J.D. means Juris Doctor, not "Jewish Doctor," as his wife first supposed. Joining the U.S. Peace Corps, he wrote laws to improve the lot of peasant farmers under Haile Selassie's Government in Ethiopia. This is not a joke!
From 1973 on, solo journeys took him into the Congo rainforest to pygmies and learn about Nature. Then to India to inquire into Truth from a guru. Australia to slave in a salt mine. And to Japan to count syllables with a famous poet. An old woman caught him in Kyoto, set his bag of poems on her back, and sent him packing to Korea. Soon after arriving in Korea in 1977, he married his "pen pal" up on a snowy Korean mountaintop.
From 1978 through 2003, F.J. taught at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in the Department of English Education, in S(e)oul.
Currently he is teaching Interesting Yoga English and, A Journey through the World's Religious Cultures on-line for Wangwan Buddhist University in Ik-san, South Korea. Also, he is the Asia-Pacific Vice President for the International Association for the Study of Dreams.
F.J. is the author of Oriental Birth Dreams (Hollym 1988) and Queen Jin's Handbook of Pregnancy (North Atlantic Books 2001) as well as of various poetry chapbooks, including Daughters (2000) and Vietnam Diary (2002), published bilingually by AEIO in France.
He founded the Children's Peace Train in 2002.
Fred Jeremy Seligson has written poetry in response to Basia Toczydlowska's artwork. He will be in Seoul, but at Café Mestizo via Google Talk, on October 27.