THE BOSS

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SKU: VC01

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The Boss:

Winner of the 2014 PEN USA Award for Poetry.

Written in “a breathless kind of fury,” the poems in award-winning poet Victoria Chang’s virtuosic third collection The Boss dance across the page with the brutal power and incandescent beauty of spring lightning. Obsessive, brilliant, linguistically playful—the mesmerizing world of The Boss is as personal as it is distinctly post-9/11. The result is a breathtaking, one-of-a-kind exploration of contemporary American culture, power structures, family life, and ethnic and personal identity.

I watch a shrill pelican dive straight down into
the water a waiter brings us fish on a plate a pelican
swallows a fish whole a pelican is the boss
with its endless office of sky I could stand on the pier the whole day
and peer at the pelicans that fall
from the sky with
their briefcases of fish in their
oily grey suits and shined black shoes
—from “[The boss is not poetic writing about the boss is not poetic]”

A fantastic interview with the Writer’s Digest in which they chat with Victoria about the process of creating the Boss.

Victoria Chang interview with the The Rumpus

Victoria Chang is on Tour! Dates can be found here

Praise for The Boss:

“Brilliant.… To say simply that Chang takes the Modernist’s music and makes it new again, makes it alive, is to say only half-truth, for she truly re-inhabits it, re-kindles the flame. This radically new music is political, yes, but it is also ecstatic. It sees how ‘everything [is] green everything grown and aglow.’ And after each firework or verbal surprise or beautiful pyrotechnics comes flame of recognition. Each reader will find her own revelation in this rich collection, some will find fire, others healing, others ecstatic abandon. I, for one, found music.”
—Ilya Kaminsky

“Victoria Chang is to the business world of 21st-century America what Julian of Norwich was to medieval European Christianity: a shocking herald, an empathetic lens. Each of these harrowing and precise lyrics constitutes a ‘showing.’ Part meditation on corporate life, part exploration of mother- and daughterhood, part elegy for a father who has not yet died, The Boss is essential reading for anyone who has ever had a job, a child, a parent, or a heart.”
—G.C. Waldrep

“In these pages, the question of whether to boss or be bossed is, in some sense, beside the point, for it becomes clear as this serial poem progresses that Chang is interested less in the brute structures of power that determine our day-to-day lives than in the more metaphysical question of what it really means to be human.”
—Katy Lederer

“Chang’s linguistic mastery is consistently clever and moving.”
Publishers Weekly

“Chang is a poet to watch because her verse dares to encounter what too many poets either ignore or altogether fail to understand: the self-imprisonment attendant upon regularized labor. These are musical, imagistically arresting, and rigorously intelligent poems, but you should read them as much for their superlative treatment of a much-maligned Great Theme as for any of the surface pleasures they unquestionably put on offer. Very highly recommended.”
Huffington Post

“[A] captivating read.”
City Book Review

“Poignant.”
Library Journal

“[Chang] seems to care far more about what it means to exist within them, to be not just an employee and a mother and daughter, but a human being.”
SF Weekly

“Striking”
Cleveland

“In a word, powerful”
Common Good Books

“Chang […] dazzles.”
CutBank Literary

“Sprawling in its absent punctuation, breathless in its prosody even as each image-driven line lingers, The Boss shows us what we gain and what we lose by working and loving at the same time.”
Coldfront Magazine

“A look at the ways in which work, family, and art complicate each other.”
The American Poet Magazine

“Chang’s poetry is a poetry of collision.”––KCET.org

“Sprawling in its absent punctuation, breathless in its prosody even as each image-driven line lingers, The Boss shows us what we gain and what we lose by working and loving at the same time.”
Coldfront Magazine

“There is a compassionate, creative wisdom that is never overly labored, the voice of someone whose steadfast caring binds without choking.”
The Rumpus