Poets Aloud

Victoria Chang

“Chang thrives at embodying and vocalizing universal feelings of anxiety, joy, grief, fear, and wonder. Further, it’s as if readers of her poetry are invited to visit a theater designed to accommodate a form or tradition with which she is obsessed . . . [With My Back to the World] is fully engaged with Agnes Martin’s paintings, drawings, and writings . . . Chang expertly probes the limitations of art’s ability to offer comfort or satisfaction.”

Poets & Writers

A new collection of poetry inspired by the work of Agnes Martin, exploring topics of feminism, art, depression, and grief, by the author of the prizewinning collection Obit.

With My Back to the World engages with the paintings and writings of Agnes Martin, the celebrated abstract artist, in ways that open up new modes of expression, expanding the scope of what art, poetry, and the human mind can do. Filled with surprise and insight, wit and profundity, the book explores the nature of the self, of existence, life and death, grief and depression, time and space. Strikingly original, fluidly strange, Victoria Chang’s new collection is a book that speaks to how we see and are seen.

Victoria Chang’s most recent book of poems is, With My Back to the World (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2024). Her prior book of poetry is The Trees Witness Everything (Copper Canyon Press, 2022). Her nonfiction book, Dear Memory: Letters on Writing, Silence and Grief was published in 2021. OBIT (Copper Canyon Press, 2020), her book of poems received the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award in Poetry, and the PEN/Voelcker Award. It was also a finalist for the Griffin International Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award, as well as longlisted for the National Book Award. She has received a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Chowdhury International Prize in Literature. She is the Bourne Chair in Poetry at Georgia Tech and Director of Poetry@Tech.



Thursday, October 24, 2024 at 6 p.m.


This lecture is livestreamed and available to view on our YouTube channel for one week.
Registration may also be completed by email at info@pittsburghlectures.org or by phone at 412.622.8866.


Carnegie Library Lecture Hall
4400 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, 15213


Upcoming Lectures

Jan Beatty


Colm Toibin

SEP 16

Pico Iyer

SEP 30

Victoria Chang

OCT 24