Poet and writer Victoria Chang’s 2020 book of poetry “Obits” was named a Time Magazine “Must Read Book” and a New York Times “Notable Book.” She will read from “Obits,” and her latest book of poetry, “The Trees Witness Everything,” for the Spring 2023 Barbara & David Zalaznick Reading Series on Thurs., March 2 at 5 p.m. in the Rhodes-Rawlings Auditorium, G70 Klarman Hall. The Reading Series is sponsored by the Creative Writing Program in the Department of Literatures in English in the College of Arts & Sciences (A&S).
The March 2 reading will be free and open to the public. A reception and book signing will follow the reading. Attendees can purchase copies of “The Trees Witness Everything” and other books by Chang after the reading, courtesy of Buffalo Street Books.
“The Trees Witness Everything” is a series of wakas, a form of Japanese poetry with specific structures. In a 2022 interview with “BOMB Magazine” Chang reflected on the challenges and rewards of writing within the constraints of wakas. “I think letting go of ideas, lines, words, images, even the whole poem, is an important part of writing in general—probably life too!” she said.
In addition to her two books of poetry, Chang published her nonfiction book “Dear Memory” in 2021. She has received a Guggenheim Fellowship and is the acting program chair and faculty member within Antioch’s low-residency MFA Program.
Barbara and David Zalaznick’s generous endowment makes it possible for the Creative Writing Program to invite several writers to campus each semester. Invited authors have ranged from debut poets and novelists to nationally and internationally renowned writers.
Masks are encouraged but not required currently on the Cornell campus. For the latest university public health guidelines visit covid.cornell.edu.
Amanda Brockner is MFA Graduate Program Coordinator in the Department of Literatures in English.