Chen-ou Liu's Translation Project: First English-Chinese Haiku and Tanka Blog

Friday, October 10, 2014

A Life in Transition and Translation

My Dear Friends:

I was notified that my haiku chapbook, A Life in Transition and Translation, won a Honorable Mention in the fourth Turtle Light Press biennial haiku chapbook competition, 2014. In celebration of the Double Ten Taiwan National Day, here is a free PDF copy of A Life in Transition and Translation for your reading pleasure.

Many thanks for your continued support of my writing.


Updated, October 13:

Commentary by the judge, Penny Harter

In this collection we enter the life of being an immigrant, feel the loneliness of being between worlds, and the questions and challenges that arise from that experience. One must learn a new language, a new landscape, and a new culture. The immigrant is at first cast adrift, never really at home, but never really in exile, either.

winter rain
I fall asleep
holding myself

We don’t have to be a stranger in a strange land to feel this degree of loneliness, but being one makes it all the more poignant.

budding lotus
when did I become
who I am

When any of us have experienced a shift from one land to another, whether chosen or forced upon us, this is a question we find ourselves asking more than once. I know I have been asking it often since my husband died and I only moved from north to south Jersey.

first homecoming . . .
the silence lengthened
tree by tree

And when we try to go home, we are changed, so home is changed. The silence, the trees . . . how do we bridge the gap? And what self are we bringing home again?

last cherry petals
drift to the ground
I miss myself

As we are becoming, day by day, our “new” selves, we miss the old, but can’t go back. And that’s the way it is. But we go on! This is a collection that makes us recognize the changes we must make—and, if we are immigrants, the changes are even more profound.