Biography of Timothy Liu
Timothy Liu (Liu Ti Mo) was born in 1965 in San Jose, California, to parents from the Chinese mainland. He studied at Brigham Young University, the University of Houston, and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
He is the author of Polytheogamy (Saturnalia, 2009); Bending the Mind Around the Dream’s Blown Fuse (Talisman House, 2009); For Dust Thou Art (Southern Illinois University Press, 2005); Of Thee I Sing (University of Georgia Press, 2004), selected by Publishers Weekly as a 2004 Book-of-the-Year; Hard Evidence (Talisman House, 2001); Say Goodnight (Copper Canyon Press, 1998); Burnt Offerings (Copper Canyon Press, 1995); and Vox Angelica (Alice James Books, 1992), which won the Poetry Society of America's Norma Farber First Book Award.
About Liu's work, the poet Fanny Howe has said, "Timothy Liu writes out of an angry materialism, ill-fitting body, disappointment at every turn. He takes on his point of view wholeheartedly and compresses the consequences into phrases that echo and mimic each other, thereby increasing the sensation of claustrophobia and fever."
Liu’s honors and awards include a Pushcart Prize, Best American Poetry in 2002, and the Open Book Beyond Margins Award. He also edited Word of Mouth: An Anthology of Gay American Poetry, (Talisman House, 2000).
He has served as a core faculty member at Bennington College’s Writing Seminars, and is currently an associate professor at William Paterson University. He lives in Manhattan.
Timothy Liu Poems
A room walled-in by books where the hours withdraw. At the foot of an unmade bed a bird of paradise.
Blind Date Scrabble tiles spilled
An Evening Train
whistles past hacked-down fields of corn, heading towards a boy who whittles an effigy of himself. We go on sleeping through sirens and crimson strobes
The Honeymoon My body is not
fire in that square floodlit by crimson gels left onstage a floating red silk
Hard to imagine getting anywhere near another semi- nude encounter down this concrete slab of interstate, the two of us
Spring Is Here
Spring Is Here With cherry blossoms
Occupied when he unzipped
During One of Mahler's Endless Adagios
During One of Mahler's Endless Adagios The crinkled crackling
She took the spareribs out of the oven and set them steaming on a plate before leaving her apartment.
Intermittent wet under cloud cover, dry
An Evening Train
whistles past hacked-down fields of corn,
heading towards a boy who whittles
an effigy of himself. We go on sleeping
through sirens and crimson strobes
flashing on remains no one can identify
till we line up at dawn to see who's
missing. At the zoo this morning, a girl
found half-devoured in a moat, two lions
licking their chops, Little Rock, Arkansas