Tina Chang is the author of the poetry collections Half-Lit Houses (2004) and Of Gods & Strangers (Four Way Books, 2011) and co-editor of the anthology Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia and Beyond (W.W. Norton, 2008). Her poems have appeared in American Poet, McSweeney’s, Ploughshares, and The New York Times among others.
Mary Jo Bang is the author of numerous collections of poetry, including Apology for Want (1997), which received the Katherine Bakeless Nason Prize; Louise in Love (2001); The Downstream Extremity of the Isle of Swans (2001); Elegy (2007), which won both the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Alice Fay di Castagnola Award; andThe Bride of E (2009).She was awarded a Pushcart Prize in 2003, and a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2004. Bang was the poetry co-editor of the Boston Review from 1995 to 2005.
Tracy K. Smith is the author of three books of poetry: Life on Mars, which received the 2012 Pulitzer Prize; Duende, recipient of the 2006 James Laughlin Award, and The Body's Question, which won the 2002 Cave Canem Poetry Prize. Smith is also the recipient of a 2004 Rona Jaffe Award and a 2005 Whiting Award. She was the Literature protégé in 2009-2011 cycle of the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative. From 1997 to 1999 Smith was a Stegner Fellow in poetry at Stanford University.
"Of course it’s a contrivance to go back to any beginning and talk about what you thought then, how you felt, why you did as you did. Even what you did. Memory’s distorting jack-hammer makes remembrance, if not a false claim, at least somewhat a pretense. What can I say that’s undeniably true about that two-year period when I went to Columbia for my MFA in creative writing?