Academy of American Poets
View Cart | Log In 
Subscribe | More Info 
Find a Poet or Poem
Advanced Search >
Tina Chang
Tina Chang
Born in 1969, Tina Chang was a finalist for an Asian American Literary Award from the Asian American Writers Workshop for her debut collection Half-Lit Houses...
More >
Want more poems?
Subscribe to our
Poem-A-Day emails.
Related Prose
Video: The Poetics of Multi-tasking
by Tina Chang
Video: "Heaven Letter"
by Mark Wunderlich
Video: "Marketing Life for Those of Us Left"
by Ada Limón
Video: A Religion of Noticing Things
by Ada Limón
Video: Letter to a Young Poet
by Mark Wunderlich
Related Pages
Poets Forum
Sponsor a Poet Page | Add to Notebook | Email to Friend | Print

Video: "Bitch Tree"

by Tina Chang

From an interview with Brooklyn Poet Laureate Tina Chang, who will appear at the 2010 Poets Forum in New York City, Oct. 28-30.


I was reading a book on flora and fauna. I was reading about beech trees, and no matter how many times I read the phrase beech tree, I kept seeing: bitch tree. So I thought I would write a poem called "Bitch Tree" to honor the fact that I kept misreading something.

At the same time, you can see by the sort of play in sound and rhythm that I was really inspired by...we haven't talked yet about influences, but one of my bigger influences is John Berryman. It's odd, because if you looked at my work, you wouldn't necessarily think: influenced by John Berryman.

But this one definitely is, because he always wanted a serious sense of humor to his work. This was actually quite fun, because I got to think about the role of the bitch and what that meant. And it came quite quickly. It's called "Bitch Tree."

Watch Chang discuss what it means to be a young poet and mother >

Larger TypeLarger Type | Home | Help | Contact Us | Privacy Policy Copyright © 1997 - 2014 by Academy of American Poets.