Seeking spiritual consolation within the material world. Running the gamut from traditional to radical forms, Timothy Liu's sixth collection of poems, ""For Dust Thou Art,"" continues the trajectory of his previous books but extends his lyrical range. The centerpiece of the volume's tripartite structure is a meditation on the events surrounding 9/11 and its aftermath. In his poems, Liu explores what a twenty-first century American ""poetry of witness"" might look like and protests the charge that the poetic generation to which Liu belongs is stymied by a kind of jaded amorality. Whether taking on public spectacle or contemplating the fallout of a private life, these meditations move forward and backward through time, seeking spiritual consolation within a material world.
Timothy Liu, an associate professor of English at William Paterson University in Wayne, N.J., has published poems in numerous journals and is the author of five previous collections of poetry. Of Thee I Sing was selected as a 2004 Book of the Year by Publishers Weekly and a cowinner of the Georgia Contemporary Poetry Series Competition. Vox Angelica received the 1992 Norma Farber First Book Award from the Poetry Society of America. Liu is also the editor of Word of Mouth: An Anthology of Gay American Poetry. His papers and journals are archived in the Berg Collection at the New York Public Library.