Tina Chang, Brooklyn’s first female poet laureate will be participating in the Academy of American Poets Forum from the October 28-30. The event will showcase an array of distinguished poets who will give readings, lectures and host a selection of literary walking tours around the city.
Chang was born in 1969 to Chinese immigrants and was raised in New York City. She is the author of Half-Lit Houses and co-editor of the anthology Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia, and Beyond. Her poems have appeared in American Poet, The Missouri Review, Indiana Review, Quarterly West, McSweeney’s, Sonora Review and Ploughshares,. She has received awards from the Academy of American Poets, the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund, the Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation, Poets & Writers, and the Van Lier Foundation amongst others.
Chang wants to demystify poetry and make it accessible to all, dismantling the misperception that it is an esoteric art form created only for the well educated. She states that her “ultimate goal is to break down the wall between people and poetry,”
Chang lives in Park Slope with her Haitian fiance and their 14 month old son. She is a poetry professor at Sarah Lawrence College and her new collection of poetry, Of Gods & Strangers, will be published 2011.
She speaks disarmingly about the struggle to fulfill her responsibilities and developing self-forgiveness for “the days when it all falls apart.” She takes refuge in using words as a shelter and foundation to express the complexity of changing emotions and define herself as an individual.
“Danger, I believe, is every writer’s most necessary tool.” says Chang, “to approach the blank page each day is a form of danger.”