Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Tina Chang's "Libretto"

[New York, 2000]

An empire falls to a smoldering seed.
A voice fades from it. Pastries: little
purses of custard, red bean, a bit of mud.
The rotten city where smoke flowers
from her face, her lungs etched
in perfume. Shop signs: Chinese characters
contained in squares, the moon fixed
into a picture, strange glass she looks
into, angled little bones.

- from Tina Chang's Half-Lit Houses


Tina Chang, the author of Half-Lit Houses (Four Way Books, 2004), received an MFA in poetry from Columbia University. Her poems have appeared in American Poet, Indiana Review, The Missouri Review, Ploughshares, Quarterly West, Sonora Review, among others. Her poems have been anthologized in Identity Lessons (Penguin Putnum, 1999) Poetry Nation (Vehicule Press, 1998), Asian American Literature (McGraw-Hill, 2001), Asian American Poetry: The Next Generation (University of Illinois Press, 2004) and forthcoming in Poets 30: Poets in Their Thirties. 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, Poets & Writers, the Van Lier Foundation and has held writing fellowships from Fundación Valparaíso, The MacDowell Colony, the Vermont Studio Center, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Villa Montalvo. She teaches at Sarah Lawrence College. For more information, please go to http://www.tinachang.com.


Blogger Patry Francis said...

The world in all its dazzling color in nine lines.

6:47 PM  
Blogger Roger Pao said...

Yes, I think the poem does a lot in a small amount of space.

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