Professor Elizabeth Chang Named Montgomery County Poet Laureate

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(Delaware and Chester Counties, PA)—Elizabeth Chang, an English Instructor at Delaware County Community College, was named the 2012 Montgomery County Poet Laureate. Chang will be presented with an award and give a reading of her work on Saturday, April 21, 2012, at 7 p.m. at Musehouse (7924 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, PA).

As Poet Laureate, Chang will represent Montgomery County at various readings and events throughout the year and will also select and develop a community project that will assist new and emerging poets. She is considering a project that integrates themes of multicultural identity with visual art (her field of study before she switched to poetry).

“I count myself incredibly lucky to have received this outpouring of support—since I've received this award and even before doing so. I can't thank my friends, family or fiancé enough,” she says. “I know that poetry is undervalued in our society (because it can't be priced or sold), so it is through their support—morally, mentally and financially—that I have been given the freedom to develop as a writer.”

As a professor, Chang, who’s been teaching at the College since 2009, introduces all of her students to poetry. She encourages them to discover and appreciate the art while exploring their own interpretations of a given poem.

“I have been fortunate to see my professional life (teaching) and personal life (writing) collide in an unexpected way,” she adds. “I've been teaching poetry as part of a study of literary analysis since I began at Delaware County Community College, but recently I've also been afforded the opportunity to get involved in sponsoring a reading and poetry competition at the Downingtown Campus as well as joining the committee for developing a new A.F.A. degree program.”

In addition to teaching and writing, Chang also translates French and Spanish. Her forthcoming book of poetry, What Ordinary Objects, features original work alongside translations of the French poet Claude de Burine. She is also the author of Provenance (Book-Arts Press, 2007) and her work has been published in several literary magazines and anthologies. She holds an M.F.A. from Vermont College of Fine Arts and currently serves as a temporary full-time professor at the College’s Downingtown Campus and Exton Center. In the fall, she’ll be tenure-track at the Marple Campus while also teaching a few courses at the Southeast Center.

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