New picture book, "Is Mommy?" reviewed by the New York Times Book Review.
Backstory on new picture book, "Is Mommy?" by Publisher's Weekly
The Boss won the PEN Center USA Literary Award
The Boss won a California Book Award (Silver Medal)
Book Trailer of The Boss by Zeega
Podcast of interview on NPR Marketplace
"This third book from Chang (Salvinia Molesta) conjures in verse a familiar and yet appropriately surreal world of invoices and cubicles. Associative wordplay works like hinges to move the poems this way, that way, always hurtling the book—in one unbroken string of uniformly unpunctuated poems—forward. Echoing Gertrude Stein’s playful sonics, these poems use the concept of a boss to access recurring undercurrents of sheer emotion and meditation…. Chang’s linguistic mastery is consistently clever and moving."
"With so many poets writing about the academy, it’s refreshing to see someone addressing office work—though Chang (Salvinia Molesta) is less concerned with our endeavors than our fraught relationship with power. Throughout, her lines are unpunctuated, her words compacted and repeated, the music a mad, tumbling rush—signaling exactly the not-so-quiet desperation of office life. VERDICT: Its theme might sound disheartening, but this volume is in fact poignant, energized, apt, even witty; a wide range of readers will enjoy."
Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal
"Chang is a poet to watch because her verse dares to encounter what too many poets either ignore or altogether fail to understand: the self-imprisonment attendant upon regularized labor. These are musical, imagistically arresting, and rigorously intelligent poems, but you should read them as much for their superlative treatment of a much-maligned Great Theme as for any of the surface pleasures they unquestionably put on offer. Very highly recommended."
"In Chang's striking third book, "the boss" is all of these and more: a pressure that permeates every aspect of contemporary life. The unpunctuated, staccato quatrains and helter-skelter rhyme schemes achieve a manic lyricism...."
Cleveland Plain Dealer
"There are many stanzas that reach sublime levels."
"THAT is one staggering tour de force. Personal and political. Local and urgently international. Victoria Chang faces calamity without losing a grain of necessary kindness, and while making a seamless garment of technique and sensation."
"Chang's voice is equal parts searing, vulnerable, and terrified."
"...in Chang’s book of unusual, moving elegies, it’s language—its fractured, vehement music and fierce demands—that emerges as, yes, 'the boss.'"
"[A] rare, much needed meditation on work..."
"...that is where the poems in this collection get their energy, from the bubbling up that led to their expulsion. It was on a recent trip to LA that I bought The Boss, along with that Spirograph and a tabletop volcano.... If urging those gears inside the plastic jagged circle is what it feels like to read Victoria Chang's The Boss, I wonder what that volcano could tell me about what it was like to write it."
"A dizzying work, Chang's newest collection of poems blurs the lines between friend and foe, work and family, all the while leaving us someplace different than where we started.... Chang's poems are spring-loaded with disaster, but they are also equal parts playful, even teasing. For fans of postmodern works and/or poetry, it's a solid read."
Evan K. Staff Pick at Left Bank Books in St. Louis
"In a word, powerful."
Common Good Books, St. Paul
"Chang's poems are nearly liquid...."
Rob McClennan's Blog
"Victoria Chang's The Boss skillfully captures the uncertainty and anxiety of work in poems full of verve and intelligence. It's easily one of the best poetry collections of the year."
"Chang employs a masterful use of internal rhyme that links the lines within each stanza and gives them a song-like quality. Her complete lack of punctuation also strings the poems together with a unified form that brings to mind a stream-of-consciousness organization. Her pleasantly surprising wordplay is also pleasing to both the reader’s eye and the ear when read aloud…. For any avid reader of poetry, this is a captivating read."
City Book Review
"…it’s also playful. It’s fresh and interesting and not afraid to address tricky topics in surprising ways. I read this book from cover to cover in one go, and thoroughly enjoyed it. In view of books like this, how can anyone possibly think poetry is ailing, let alone dead? No ivory towers here, no aloofness, no slack. This book would be good for getting someone interested in poetry who’s put literature off as stuffy and dusty. It also looks great on your shelf with its rich orange spine."
Annette C. Boehm
Review of Salvinia Molesta on Blackbird
Review of Salvinia Molesta on Barn Owl
Review of Circle on Blackbird
A conversation with Colin Winette about a few poetry books at the Believer
13 poetry collections for people who think they don't like poetry: Huffington Post
Interview in New Letters