A Reading from Anni Liu

This last Tuesday, Ohio Wesleyan was so excited to welcome home Anni Liu ‘13 for a reading from her poetry collection Boarder Vista. Liu joined us in the Benes Room for an engaging reading and discussion about her work, as well as an open time for questions. Liu was introduced by Ronan Thompson who gave an introduction to her professional career and the themes her work covers. 

Anni Liu was born and raised in 西安, 陕西 (Xi’an, Shaanxi), then later in Bowling Green, Ohio. She earned her BA from OWU in 2013 in Creative Writing with honors and then earned her MFA at Indiana University. Her poetry collection, Boarder Vista, won the 2021 Lexi Rudnitsky First Book Prize from Persea Books and was published in April 2022.  Her work has been featured in the Adroit Journal, Poetry, Ploughshares, Ecotone, and elsewhere. She won a Gregory Djanikian Scholarship and Undocupoets Fellowship from the Androit Journal, as well as an ALTA Travel Fellowship, Mae Fellowship, and others. She currently works as a book editor at Graywolf Press. 

Liu began her reading by sharing a few poems that inspired her work and introduced the main themes of her poetry collection. Boarder Vista, as she explained, includes poems that fit three main themes– Liu’s childhood, her time in Vermont, and “everything else.” She explained that within the collection the poems are not divided by theme, but instead that she had to spend much time reflecting on the best order for these poems, eventually finding connections in language to create the flow of the collection. 

Liu read many of her poems dealing with childhood and language first, before moving on to those about Vermont and some from her ‘others’ category. Her work is full of emotion and explores themes of family, language, state-sanctioned violence, racism, and more.

We are so glad that Anni Liu was able to return to OWU and so grateful for her reading of her poetry collection, Boarder Vista.

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