The Trees Witness Everything

21,000+ Reviews has the highest-rated customer service of any bookstore in the world
Product Details
$17.00  $15.81
Copper Canyon Press
Publish Date
4.0 X 8.9 X 0.7 inches | 0.35 pounds

Earn by promoting books

Earn money by sharing your favorite books through our Affiliate program.

Become an affiliate
About the Author
Born in Detroit, Michigan to Taiwanese immigrants, Victoria Chang was educated at the University of Michigan, Harvard University, and Stanford Business School and holds an MFA in poetry from Warren Wilson. She is the author of six books of poetry, including Obit, which was named a "New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2020" and included on Time Magazine's "100 Must-Read Books of 2020." She lives in Southern California with her family and serves as the Program Chair of Antioch's Low-Residency MFA Program.
"In this collection, the constraints of the waka, a Japanese syllabic form, yield highly compressed, surreal meditations on time, desire, and the movements of the mind itself. Chang's poems, some of which have appeared in the magazine, document a practice of sustained observation and imagination."--New Yorker, Best Books of 2022"Utilising the waka, a Japanese syllabic form, Chang takes the titles of poems by WS Merwin as the starting point for her own observations. The results are some of the most dazzling evocations of the natural world I've encountered."--Guardian, Best Poetry Books of 2022"Working within the formal constraints of traditional Japanese poetry, Chang writes of aging, nature, love, death, and violence with an austere emotionality, creating stark beauty from simplicity."--New York Public Library, Best Books of 2022"The strict constraints of these poems point to more than Chang's inventiveness. Despite the forms and structures of these poems, what emerges is an appreciation for the wildness of the mind, the freedom of a wandering mind and memory."--Electric Lit, Favorite Poetry Collections of 2022

"The elegant and reflective fourth collection from Chang presents a moving elegy for both her deceased mother and the dying Earth, using form to capture the fleeting nature of life. . . . The poems seem like fragments of enlightenment collectively working toward a revelation. . . . For those who are grieving and those who have grieved, Chang offers beautiful insights, and a path toward healing."--Publishers Weekly

"From Victoria Chang, who grabbed attention with her recent OBIT, The Trees Witness Everything uses Japanese syllabic forms called wakas to plumb our rich interior lives."--Library Journal

"The poems in The Trees Witness Everything are not necessarily meant to be distinct, in that together they enforce a practice, a timescale, in which each poem contributes. . . to writing as always an epistemological experiment."--Los Angeles Review of Books

"Chang follows Obit (2020) with a new collection in four sublime parts. At the start, Chang works with a traditional Japanese form, waka, also known as tanka, or short poem, and adroitly uses titles of poems by W. S. Merwin as prompts, creating astonishingly subtle poems that gracefully bloom. In 'The String, ' she writes, 'When the earth rotates, / a person not tied down with / longing falls off into space.' The book's second section is 'Marfa, Texas, ' a long poem sculpted out of reflection on that enigmatic art mecca in the West Texas desert. Lines pop out: 'Here, / you can pay someone to clip / off your shadow and walk it / across the border.' Or 'Here, / when I cry in my head, my / tears come out as letters.' The poet's dialog with Merwin continues in part three, 'The Shipwreck, ' as she offers 'I sit at my desk. / Desire is an anchor-- / I lift it and words come up.' Wildness is alive throughout in birds--hawks, crows, and wounded larks--along with crickets and beetles that appear between sentences. 'Love Letters' closes this enlightened collection, which reads as an amalgam of bu