Kenji C. Liu “Ah Kung in the Philippine Jungle, 1945”


Kenji C. Liu is a 1.5-generation immigrant from New Jersey of Taiwanese and Japanese descent. He is a Pushcart Prize nominee and first runner-up finalist for the Poets & Writers 2013 California Writers Exchange Award. His  writing is in, or forthcoming from the L.A. Review, The Collagist, Barrow Street Journal, CORA, The Baltimore Review, RHINO Poetry, and others. His poetry chapbook You Left Without Your Shoes (Finishing Line Press) was nominated for a 2009 California Book Award. A three-time VONA/Voices fellow and recipient of residencies at Djerassi Resident Artist Program and the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley, he holds an M.A. in Cultural Anthropology and Social Transformation. He lives in Southern California.

“Ah Kung in the Philippine Jungle, 1945” is a short cinepoem produced by Kenji C. Liu about his Taiwanese grandfather who was deployed to the Philippines by the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II and who had surrendered to US forces. The cinepoem explores the ambiguities of being a soldier recruited from a Japanese colony to fight in another Japanese colony. The music for this video poem is a video collaboration among Kenji C. Liu (poet-LA), Tako Oda (berim bau-Oakland), Marie Abe (accordion-Boston) and Heidi Andrea Restreppo Rhodes (vocalist-NYC). It was first published in Issue 59 (June 2014) of The Collagist.

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