Victoria Chang, MA, MBA, MFA
Program Chair, Creative Writing Department
Victoria Chang’s fourth book of poems, Barbie Chang, was published by Copper Canyon Press in 2017. The Boss (McSweeney’s) won a PEN Center USA Literary Award and a California Book Award. Other books are Salvinia Molesta, published by the University of Georgia Press as part of the VQR Poetry Series and Circle, which won the Crab Orchard Review Open Competition and was published by the Southern Illinois University Press.
Her poems have been published in Poetry, American Poetry Review, Kenyon Review, The Nation, New Republic, Virginia Quarterly Review, New England Review, Harvard Review, Agni, The Washington Post, Best American Poetry, and many other places. In 2017, she was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship. Her picture book, Is Mommy? illustrated by Marla Frazee (Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster) was named a New York Times Notable Book. She lives in Southern California with her family and her two wiener dogs Mustard and Ketchup.
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
Asian American Poetry: The Next Generation
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
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.