Kenji C. Liu

keynote speaker | poetry workshops | book designer


Alice James Books

Godzilla emerging from the ocean

“Kenji C. Liu’s Monsters I Have Been writhes knotty tentacles through textual boneyards, disturbing screenplays, theoretical works, and literatures in their coffined-off sleeps. What it draws back are parts through which the poet might, as Lucille Clifton wrote, make up ‘a kind of life’ in the global slaughterhouse of heteropatriarchy and racism. Sharp, protean, dexterous, and discontent—Liu’s collection shows where the bodies have been buried, and that many won’t stay dead. No doubt, this book is alive as all hell.”


Kenji C. Liu (劉謙司) is author of Monsters I Have Been (Alice James Books 2019), and Map of an Onion, national winner of the 2015 Hillary Gravendyk Poetry Prize. His poetry can be found, among other places, in American Poetry ReviewAnomaly, The Feminist Wire, Gulf Coast, Split This Rock’s poem of the week series, several anthologies, and two chapbooks, Craters: A Field Guide (2017) and You Left Without Your Shoes (2009). An alumnus of Kundiman, VONA/Voices, the Djerassi Resident Artist Program, and the Community of Writers, he lives in occupied Tongva land, Los Ángeles.

Kenji is represented by the Miresa Collective.

Bring Kenji C. Liu to your school or community

—in-person or online—for poetry readings, talks, and workshops.

  • Experimental Poetry & Politics
  • Divination and Poetry
  • Mindfulness and Creativity
  • Special topics upon request

Book Kenji through the Miresa Collective!

Need some perspective on your creative project, writing, or manuscript?

Books I have consulted on have won the American Book Award and a PEN America Poetry Prize!

  • Book and chapbook manuscript consultations (poetry, essay, or hybrid genre)
  • Second opinion on your book cover design
  • General editing and copywriting

Use the contact form to get in touch for services and rates!

Winner, 2015 Hillary Gravendyk National Poetry PrizeMap of an Onion

Map of an Onion - by Kenji C. Liu

Colony, conquest, citizenship, language, place—the almost infinite severances of power and culture, ultimately, a ‘paper cut theater.’ Here, Kenji C. Liu lays out the splicing of the onion, these blistering, translucent stacks of report, bilingual document, letters, notes, found materials and calcified fever-cells. These are investigations, surgeries, all crossing attempts to map some kind of in-between set of scars and wounds of ‘advice and consolation.’ Applaud it for its tough, serious, exacting pen and eye and mind, for its howl, its losses, findings and knife-thin metaphysical peeling gestures. I am in true awe of Kenji’s writing and poetics. Here, he gives us a 21st century read at ‘luminescent level.’ A groundbreaking giant, this collection.

Juan Felipe Herrera, Poet Laureate of the United States, 2015-17

2017, Goodmorning Menagerie PressCraters: A Field Guide

Craters overpours with animal (including Godzilla), vegetable, and mineral, but of an unfamiliar nature that’s already [ir]radiated and changed its patterns and behaviors — it’s an adaptation that borders [on] monstrosity, speaking a contorted but high register language that tries to resist colonial rules, while also doing its best to get rid of any scabs left by them.

MH, Anomaly


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Gojira ???, digital collage
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Digital illustrations
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Stationery concepts
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Watercolor and digital
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Poetry broadside, 3-color risograph
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Branded print and digital design
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Brochure cover concepts
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Dynamic web infographic
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Website Facelift Progression
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