Provenance: Poems by Liz Chang


Whether she is personifying the colors of her crayons, consoling a friend by clinging to the “doorframe of our shared past,” or describing “the secret joy etched in penciled plans,” Liz Chang’s second collection of poems reverberates with the mystery found in everyday life. She examines “ordinary objects [that] stood for whole lives,” and treats them with reverence, sympathy, and humor. Picking through totems of memory—small keys, a bird’s nest, grasscloth wallpaper, sepia hair dye, a man’s foot, a lace tablecloth, origami paper—she seeks clues to their identities. While some work examines the life behind things, other poems create fictional persona that showcase her narrative gifts. What Ordinary Objects is also her debut as a translator, including poems by French poet Claude de Burine, that seamlessly dialogue with Chang’s own poetry.

Liz Chang is 2012 Montgomery County Poet Laureate and Assistant Professor of English at Delaware County Community College. She received her MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts.

Advance Praise for What Ordinary Objects