Tina Chang


Born in Oklahoma, poet Tina Chang moved with her family to New York City when she was a year old. As a child, Chang was sent to live with family in Taiwan for two years before returning to New York. She earned a BA at SUNY-Binghamton and an MFA at Columbia University. Chang is the author of the poetry collections Hybrida (2019), Of Gods & Strangers (2011), and Half-Lit Houses (2004). Her work has been featured in the anthologies From the Fishouse: An Anthology of Poems that Sing, Rhyme, Resound, Syncopate, Alliterate, and Just Plain Sound Great (2009) and Asian American Poetry: The Next Generation (2004). She coedited the anthology Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia, and Beyond (2008). Chang was the first woman to be named poet laureate of Brooklyn, New York. She has received awards from the Academy of American Poets, the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund, the Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the Van Lier Foundation. She has also been granted residencies at the MacDowell Colony, Djerassi Resident Artists Program, the Vermont Studio Center, and Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. She lives in Brooklyn. Source


I chewed into the wreck of the world,

into the neckbone of the past that pursued me.

All the while, I moved toward extinction,

bearing the burden of damage, language of the protector.


A great apocalyptic wheeze adorned me with sand. 

I foraged, first to find light dappling the leaves,

then breathed into an infinite power, feminine rust,

a coppery taste of salvage, leading me into a canopy


of the future. My mother was a mother of mothers,

modern before she was ancestral.

She was a woman who morphed into feline, back

to her human self before I woke each morning.


I lived not to sate my appetite but to crush it.

On my haunches, I craved what could not be seen.

I am desire. I am survival.

I sit under the tree waiting for hunger.





Literary Movements:


Anthology Years:




Strength & Resilience

Literary Devices:


a line break interrupting the middle of a phrase which continues on to the next line

Extended Metaphor

a metaphor that extends through several lines or even an entire poem


a comparison between two unrelated things through a shared characteristic