Poet and scholar Jennifer Chang was born in New Jersey. She earned her MFA and PhD from the University of Virginia and teaches at George Washington University. She is the author of two books of poetry, The History of Anonymity and Some Say the Lark.
Chang’s lyrical poems often explore the shifting boundaries between the outer world and the self. Chang’s debut poetry collection, The History of Anonymity (2008), was selected for the Virginia Quarterly Review’s Poetry Series and was a finalist for the Shenandoah/ Glasgow Prize for Emerging Writers. In a review of The History of Anonymity for the Boston Review, critic Kristina Marie Darling observed, “While formally diverse, the collection is unified by an ongoing engagement with the natural world, with Chang often presenting forests, rivers, and vast seaside landscapes as loci for her speakers’ search for self-knowledge and authenticity.” Speaking to the “emotional landscapes” of myths and fairy tales that surface occasionally in her poems, Chang stated in a 2008 interview on Critical Mass (the blog of the National Book Critics Circle board of directors): “As a scholar, I don’t trust autobiography, and as a lyric poet, I don’t trust narrative: both enforce a coherence that reveals more about the writer’s motives at the moment rather than the life or story being told. What I do trust is mystery; I trust confusion.”
She co-chairs the advisory board of Kundiman, a nonprofit organization that supports Asian American literature. She lives in Washington, D.C