Victoria Chang’s latest poetry book is OBIT (Copper Canyon Press, 2020), which was named a New York Times Notable Book and received the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, and the PEN Voelcker Award. It was also longlisted for a National Book Award and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Griffin International Poetry Prize. Her forthcoming hybrid nonfiction book is Dear Memory (Milkweed Editions). She also has a forthcoming book of poems, The Trees Witness Everything (Copper Canyon Press, 2022).
Her children’s picture book, Is Mommy?, was illustrated by Marla Frazee and published by Beach Lane Books/Simon & Schuster. It was named a New York Times Notable Book. Her middle grade novel, Love, Love was published by Sterling Publishing. She has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Sustainable Arts Foundation Fellowship, the Poetry Society of America’s Alice Fay Di Castagnola Award, a Pushcart Prize, a Lannan Residency Fellowship, and a Katherine Min MacDowell Colony Fellowship. She lives in Los Angeles and is the Program Chair of Antioch’s Low-Residency MFA Program.
MFA in Creative Writing in Poetry, Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers
MBA in Business and Management, Stanford University
MA in East Asian Studies, Harvard University
BA in East Asian Studies, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
I both love the big picture and the granular. I love going way up high, panning around so we can see miles around a poem, and also going right down to the ground at eye level with the insects. Even though I ultimately believe a poem comes from some unspoken magical and mysterious place, I think studying and reading poetry and picking it apart, can somehow aid a writer in maximizing our chances of being in a place where that magic can occur. Thus I believe in reading a lot in order to learn how other poems are made. I focus on craft and technique with an emphasis on language and the possibilities of language. I also like to push my students (and myself) beyond their comfort zones—to experiment and to try new things. And I encourage my students to learn how to critique the work of others so that they can ultimately become stronger critics of their own work—consciously learning so that when they write, everything will feel subconscious, and when they revise, the conscious and the subconscious alchemize magically. Ultimately, I believe in generosity, kindness, passion, and rigor.
Guggenheim Fellowship in Poetry, 2017 Sustainable Arts Foundation Fellowship, 2017 Is Mommy?, illustrated by Marla Frazee, named New York Times Notable Book, 2015
PEN Center USA Literary Award, The Boss, 2013
California Book Award, Silver Medal, The Boss, 2013
Dorothy Sargent Award for Poetry, 2010 Ploughshares Cohen Award, 2006
Association of Asian American Studies Book Award, Circle, 2005 Crab Orchard Review Open Competition Prize in Poetry, 2005
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