Tina Chang

(1969 / Oklahoma / United States)

Biography of Tina Chang

Tina Chang is an American poet, teacher, and editor. In 2010, she was named Poet Laureate of Brooklyn.
Chang was born in 1969 in Oklahoma, to Chinese immigrants, who had met in Montreal, where her mother was working as a nurse and her father was earning his doctorate in physics. The family moved to New York when she was a year old. She was also raised in New York City. During her young age, Chang and her brother were sent to live in Taiwan with relatives for two years. “I started questioning even at a very young age, well, what is language?” she said. “What is the role of words?”
She later attended Binghamton University. She received her master of fine art's degree in poetry from Columbia University.

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My son rubs his skin and names it brown,
his expression gleeful as I rub a damp cloth
over his face this morning. Last night,
there were reports that panthers were charging
through the streets. I watched from my seat
in front of the television, a safe vista.
I see the savannah. Sometimes, though,
my son wakes to a kind of nightmare.
He envisions words on the wall and cannot

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