In this debut Liu contemplates the interweavings of migration, love, memory and mourning in an autobiography of poems spanning four years. Beginning with the untimely death of his mother, this collection contemplates the difficult task of transforming one's relationship with the dead and and the renewal of life that can accompany it.
Praise for You Left Without Your Shoes:
“From the shreds of grief and displacement, Kenji Liu has woven whole cloth. These are exquisite poems, sculpted and flowing, the lines meant to be caressed by the reader’s eyes, the words read aloud for the ears. You don’t have to try to remember this poet’s name – Kenji Liu will, without a doubt, in time establish himself as one of our major American poets.”
- Patricia Y. Ikeda, featured in the award-winning documentary film, Between the Lines: Asian American Women's Poetry
“Beautiful seems too cliche a word for these poems that are original and effused with love, and memory and loss and ties that link one generation to the next regardless of time and circumstance. Kenji Liu artfully opens up your heart with these lucid poems.”
- Opal Palmer Adisa, latest collection, I Name Me Name
“In You Left Without Your Shoes, Kenji Liu engages and entangles his reader in a conversation, a testament, an ocean, a desert of memory, a flight, a witness towards the survival of loss and what lies beyond. These multi-layered poems, tender and resilient, fly towards the possible.”
- Ching-In Chen, author of The Heart's Traffic