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Victoria Chang, MFA

Antioch University Los Angeles

Victoria Chang’s latest poetry book is The Trees Witness Everything (Copper Canyon Press, 2022). 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 nonfiction book is Dear Memory (Milkweed Editions, 2021).

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.

Educational History

  • 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

Teaching Statement

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 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.

  • Dear Memory
  • OBIT
  • Barbie Chang
  • Is Mommy?
  • The Boss
  • Salvinia Molesta
  • Circle
  • Asian American Poetry: The Next Generation

• Los Angeles Times Book Award
• PEN Voelcker Award
• Anisfield-Wolf Book Prize
• National Book Award Longlist
• National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist
• Griffin International Poetry Award Finalist
• Sustainable Arts Foundation Fellowship
• PEN Center USA Literary Award
• California Book Award

Podcast Episodes


Core Faculty,

MFA in Creative Writing Program


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