Tina Chang

MFA, Columbia University. Poet, Brooklyn poet laureate, and author of Half-Lit Houses and Of Gods & Strangers; co-editor of the anthology Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry From the Middle East, Asia, and Beyond (W.W. Norton, 2008). Poems have appeared in American Poet, McSweeney’s, The New York Times, Ploughshares, Quarterly West, and Sonora Review, among others. Recipient of 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, and The Van Lier Foundation, among others. SLC, 2005–

Undergraduate Courses 2017-2018

Writing

Hybrid Beast

Open , Seminar—Fall

The word hybrid comes from the Latin hybrida, which means mongrel, a creature of mixed breed, and that definition is well worth exploring. The tradition of poetry is widening, drawing from many art forms, blending and fusing to create contemporary, cross-pollinated forms. In this class, we will explore the many ways in which poetry is increasingly a hybrid beast, as innovative and exciting projects are envisioned across the genres. We will discuss the process by which poets collaborate with visual artists, filmmakers, choreographers, and dramatists; and we will practice the poem-as-essay, poem-as-tweet, dramatic monologue, prose poem, ekphrastic poem, mosaic poem, erasure, collage, comic and graphic novel, and the many formal experiments that make the current environment of poetry so eclectic. Classwork will comprise student writing and critique, linguistic adventure, wild meanderings, and manifestos in order to understand future possibilities for one’s own poems.

Faculty

Previous Courses

The Sensual Form

Open , Seminar—Spring
This workshop is intended for writers who are interested in sensual detail (relating to, or drawing from, the five senses), with the understanding that poetry cannot exist without spirit, soul, shadow, and intuition. In this portion of the class, we concentrate on image, feeling, narrative, memory, and witness. The other half of the class is devoted to poetic devices, formal strategies, structure, rhythm, and sound. We will practice traditional forms—such as the sonnet, sestina, pantoum, ghazal, and haiku—in the beginning half of the semester. During the second half of the semester, we will understand modernized forms, such as the contemporary zuihitsu, the pecha kucha, erasure, and hybrid forms combining poetry and visual art. Each experiment allows you to move toward your own individualized form(s). Students are expected to write and read consistently and to be passionate about creation. The class culminates in an optional public reading in Manhattan (KGB Bar).
Faculty

Poetry Workshop: Gift Horses: Poets Imagine Their First Books

Workshop—Fall

What makes for a compelling first book? What is the force, wonder, and—dare we say—awe that drives a writer to create his/her very first collection of poems? What are the elements of an engaging book that summon a loyal readership? We’ll discuss image, feeling, narrative, persona, memory, monologue, witness. We’ll also devote ourselves to technical devices such as manuscript orchestration, formal strategies, structure, rhythm, sound, and the ever-elusive individual voice that is announced in your first collection. We’ll read first books that engage with the exciting differences from collection to collection, discussing time, history, and the environment in which each book was written while finding its connection to your own process of first manuscript development. Some of the collections will include books by Lucie Brock-Broido, Eduardo Corral, Nick Flynn, Ilya Kaminsky, Suji Kwock Kim, and Ocean Vuong, among others. Students are expected to write and read consistently, to experiment, and to be passionate about creation. Writing is produced in class and in conference and thoroughly discussed each week, followed by revision portfolios during the semester. Students will have the opportunity to meet and converse with established poets whose work we will be studying.

Faculty

Poetry Workshop: The Hybrid Beast

Open , Seminar—Year

The word “hybrid” comes from the Latin hybrida, which means mongrel, a creature of mixed breed. The tradition of poetry is widening, drawing from many art forms, blending and fusing to create contemporary cross-pollinated forms. In this class, we will explore the many ways in which poetry is increasingly a hybrid beast as innovative and exciting projects are envisioned across the genres. We will discuss the process by which poets collaborate with visual artists, filmmakers, choreographers, and dramatists; and we will practice the poem-as-essay, poem-as-tweet, dramatic monologue, prose poem, ekphrastic poem, mosaic poem, erasure, collage, comic and graphic novel, and the many formal experiments that make the current environment of poetry so eclectic. Students will read a book a week, studying the collaborative efforts of poets such as Anne Carson, Mark Doty, Harmony Holiday, Matthea Harvey, Claudia Rankine, Bianca Stone, and Karen Green, among many others. Class work will comprise student writing and critique, linguistic adventure, wild meanderings, and manifestos in order to understand future possibilities for one’s own poems. Students will have the opportunity to meet and converse with established poets whose work we will study. The class culminates in an optional public reading at KGB Bar in Lower Manhattan.

Faculty