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The Air/Light Podcast Ep10: bridgette bianca and MICHAEL CHANG in Conversation

In this episode, we host a conversation between two outstanding poets: bridgette bianca and MICHAEL CHANG.

bridgette bianca is a poet and professor from South Central Los Angeles. She co-curates two literary series, Making Room for Black Women and the Women’s Center for Creative Work Reading Series. Her debut collection of poetry, be/trouble, is out now from Writ Large Press.

MICHAEL CHANG (they/them) is the author of several collections of poetry, including DRAKKAR NOIR (winner of the Bateau Press BOOM Chapbook Contest), CHINATOWN ROMEO (Ursus Americanus Press, 2021), as well as BOYFRIEND PERSPECTIVE (Really Serious Literature, 2021). Tapped to edit Lambda Literary’s Emerge anthology, their poems have been nominated for Best New Poets, Best of the Net, & the Pushcart Prize. In 2021, they were awarded the Poetry Project’s prestigious Brannan Prize. Their collection ALMANAC OF USELESS TALENTS is forthcoming from CLASH Books.

bridgette experiments with poetic form, deploying radical enjambment and extended metaphors to powerful effect. She writes poetry that is direct and forceful; she doesn’t hold back. The same could be said of MICHAEL’s poems that deploy wild, all-caps disjunction to evoke abrasive, uncomfortable scenes of public and private sociality. And yet, both bridgette and MICHAEL write poems that are incredibly subtle and even intimate. Bridgette and MICHAEL’s poetry pushes the art of poetry forward, even as they each use poetry as a vehicle to investigate their own lived experience. In our conversation, we discussed how poets relate to an audience, the role of poetry communities, workshop, revision, and much, much more.

Aaron Winslow is the managing editor of Air/Light. He also writes video games, fiction, poetry, and criticism. He is the writer of "Star Renegades," a tactical roguelite JRPG created by Massive Damage and published by Raw Fury that was nominated for a 2021 Canadian Game Award and 2021 Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television Best Game Award. Other recent writing — including fiction, critical reviews, essays, and humor — has appeared in McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Los Angeles Review of Books, Social Text, Smallwork, James Joyce Quarterly, Full Stop, Harriet: the Poetry Foundation Blog, and more. 

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