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Brooklyn Poet Laureate Tina Chang Joining Tracy K. Smith at Women Writers Event

by Whitney Hale

(June 4, 2014) — In an evening that organizers are calling “Brave New Words,” Tina Chang, poet laureate of Brooklyn, N.Y., will join Pulitzer Prize winner Tracy K. Smith for a poetry reading and conversation at the keynote event of this year’s Kentucky Women Writers Conference. The noted poets will take the stage 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 12, at University of Kentucky's Memorial Hall. This event is free and open to the public.

The first woman named Poet Laureate of Brooklyn, Tina Chang was raised in New York City. She is the author of the poetry collections "Half-Lit Houses" and "Of Gods & Strangers" (Four Way Books) and co-editor of the anthology "Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia, and Beyond" (W.W. Norton) along with Nathalie Handal and Ravi Shankar.

Chang's poems have appeared in American Poet, McSweeney’s, Ploughshares and the New York Times, among others. Her work has also been anthologized in "Identity Lessons," "Poetry Nation," "Asian American Literature," "Asian American Poetry: The Next Generation," "From the Fishouse: An Anthology of Poems" and in "Poetry 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 and the Van Lier Foundation, among others.

Chang currently teaches poetry at Sarah Lawrence College and is an international faculty member at the City University at Hong Kong.

In addition to the keynote event at the Kentucky Women Writers Conference, Chang will also present a poetry workshop for conference registrants only. "The Sensual Form" will be held Sept. 12-13 and requires preregistration for the conference.

As a preview to the conference participation by these celebrated poets and in celebration of LexPoMo (Lexington Poetry Month), the Kentucky Women Writers Conference will present a book discussion on the poets' works led by conference board members Tasha Cotter and Iris Law from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, June 14, at the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning. The discussion, which is free and open to the public, will include photocopies of selected poems and refreshments for participants.

Now in its 36th year, the Kentucky Women Writers Conference is an annual event known for bringing notable women writers to Lexington for readings, writing workshops and discussions. A program housed in the UK College of Arts and Sciences, the conference is made possible in part by continued community partnerships, including its primary venue, the Carnegie Center. Registration for the conference is now available.

For more information on the conference or events featuring poet Tina Chang, click here