Born in San Jose, California, of Chinese immigrants, Timothy Liu (Liu Ti Mo) grew up in the Mormon faith and spent two years in Hong Kong for his Mormon mission between 1984 and 1986. He studied at the University of California at Los Angeles and received his B.A. in English at Brigham Young University (BYU) in 1989. While a senior at BYU, Liu published a chapbook of poetry, A Zipper of Haze (1988). Liu went on to attend the University of Houston, where he received his master’s degree in creative writing (poetry) in 1991, and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
He was an assistant professor at Cornell College in Iowa for four years and is currently an assistant professor at William Paterson University. Liu has also taught at Hampshire College, at Iowa Summer Writer’s Festival, at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, at the Asian American Writer’s Workshop in New York City, at the University of California at Berkeley, where he was the 1997 Holloway Lecturer, and at the University of Michigan, where he served recently as a visiting professor. Among the honors Liu has received are fellowships at Breadloaf Writers Conference, Ernhardt Memorial Fellowship at the University of Houston, and the Writers at Work Scholarship, Park City.
Liu is the author of the Norma Farber First Book Award–winning Vox Angelica (1992), as well as Burnt Offerings (1995), Say Goodnight (1998), and Hard Evidence (2001). He has also edited Word of Mouth: An Anthology of Gay American Poetry (2000). Except for Vox Angelica, all of his books have been finalists for Lambda Literary Awards. His poetry is widely anthologized and frequently appears in various journals such as Antioch Review, Chelsea, Kenyon Review, New England Review, Ploughshares, and Poetry. He lives in Hoboken, New Jersey.