Of Thee I Sing

Poems by Timothy Liu

Winner of the Contemporary Poetry Series Competition


"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.  Lots of humor erupts to keep the machine going.  Is will the same as desire?  It didn't used to be, but now it is. His poetry is fully present to the time we are in, and takes it on as a serious failure of intention."
—Fanny Howe, author of The Wedding Dress

"With formidable invention, Tim Liu has made a book that is the 'flesh canoe' of liberty, American liberty. Family, sex, art, the fissures of liberty: 'America's / indigenous sublime.' By his eloquent, memorable, unappeased example, Liu enjoins us to do what Ginsberg did, put our queer shoulders to the wheel."
—Frank Bidart

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In his fifth book of poems, Timothy Liu addresses a tripartite “Thee”: the Divine, the Beloved, and the State. A precarious dance between the spiritual and the material ensues, the lyric poem confronting a consumer culture overrun by rampant lust and greed yet finding itself unable to wholly stand outside of what it critiques. Any consolation found herein is short-lived. Even so, by extending the traditions of lyric poetry forward, these utterances seek to enlarge the conversation between art and life, anticipating whatever commerce the future might yet hold.
Page count: 80 pp.
Trim size: 5.5 x 8.5


List price: $19.95

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Timothy Liu's first book of poems, Vox Angelica, received the 1992 Norma Farber First Book Award from the Poetry Society of America. His other three books were finalists for the Lambda Literary Award. Liu, an associate professor of English at William Patterson University, has edited Word of Mouth: An Anthology of Gay American Poetry.