"A Son Writes Back" is a poetic response to a qilu poem written close to 800 years ago by Liu's ancestor, in which the ancestor gives advice to the Liu family as they migrate to new countries. The response echoes the qilu form—8 lines, 7 characters per line—in English using 8 line stanzas, 7 syllables per line.
"A Son Writes Back" by Kenji C. Liu, accompanied by Jason Jong on Kou Xiang. Audio recorded at Cowell Theater, Fort Mason, San Francisco. First published in You Left Without Your Shoes (Finishing Line Press, 2009). Updated version published in Lantern Review.
Public domain archival video is from a US Air Force propaganda film portraying aerial attacks on Imperial Japan during World War II.
"Migration: Like Paul Atreides" is a speculative poem inspired by the 1984 film Dune. It considers the forced migration of Paul Atreides from his home world to Dune from the point of view of contemporary immigrant rights struggles in the United States.
A video collage accompanying the speculative poem "Migration: Like Paul Atreides" which was published in Eye to the Telescope, issue 7. All footage is from the Internet Archive. Poem and video by Kenji C. Liu.
"Your Father Tongue" is a short poem looking at the role of language in one side of the poet's own family—in which each of the last 4 generations has been educated in a different language (English, Mandarin, Japanese, Hakka)—through his father.
Poem published in Barrow Street Journal, Winter 2013/2014. Footage: Internet Archive. Music: Kevin MacLeod.
"Ah Kung in the Philippine Jungle, 1945" is a short cinepoem produced by Kenji C. Liu about his Taiwanese grandfather, who was deployed to the Philippines by the Japanese Imperial Army during WWII, and had to surrender to US forces. The cinepoem explores the ambiguities of being a soldier recruited from a Japanese colony to fight in another Japanese colony.
The music for this video poem is a digital collaboration between Kenji C. Liu (poet - LA), Tako Oda (berimbau - Oakland), Marië Abe (accordion - Boston), and Heidi Andrea Restrepo Rhodes (vocalist - NYC). Liu contacted the musicians with a length, time signature, and key, and each contributed audio files, which Liu mixed with other audio samples. All video is free from the Internet Archive and Mazwai.