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Salvinia Molesta: Poems (The VQR Poetry Ser.) Paperback – September 15, 2008

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Editorial Reviews


"Victoria Chang looks unsentimentally on the various entanglements of this world. In Salvinia Molesta she doesn't flinch from using a sharp blade to skewer pretense and cut away excess. In so doing, she's given us a wise and feisty second book." --Blackbird

'Collision' is the title of one of the best poems in Salvinia Molesta, and like the poem, this remarkable book is itself an intersection where the personal, the global, the political, and the domestic all collide in a shower of sparks. Inevitably there is damage here, brutality, depravity, but there is great beauty as well―the kind that endures. Salvinia Molesta is a book of lasting power.

(James Longenbach)

Invasive species: just one of the thousand signs we’ve learned so terribly after the fact to read. Salvinia molesta: one of the worst; it can smother a lake in days. And under its proliferant injunction, Victoria Chang surveys the paths that brought us here. She charts her course through biosphere and boardroom, the intimate spaces of private infidelity, the vast terrains of state-supported slaughter. How is it, in poems so keenly tuned to history and all its harms, that the reader finds elation? Because in art this finely pitched we have the one true antidote.

(Linda Gregerson)

In the vivid lyrical world of Victoria Chang's Salvinia Molesta, a cardinal is a 'Christ of / little bones,' hummingbirds have 'tent stake' noses, and bullets 'make things beyond recognition.' And whether she is exploring the effects of the Japanese rape of Nanking, the greed of corporate America, or the complications of sexual desire, she does so with a razorlike sharpness that cuts through the skin of experience without disturbing the delicate, mesmerizing, and disturbing network of capillaries that feed its life. This is a poetry of calm and unflinching exposure, deft and precise.

(Michael Collier)

Many poets display a single strength. Some write beautiful nature poems, others write well about relationships, still others have a gift for addressing issues like politics or economics. Chang can do it all. She wowed the poetry world three years ago with her debut collection, Circles . . . . Look for her to make another splash with Salvinia Molesta, which takes on everything from sexuality to global politics in searing poems.


Salvinia Molesta is not an easy book: the poems themselves are often logical yet complex. . . . Chang's main topical focus is not easy either, but in our day and age it is very apt and very much needed. Grace will abide, and books like this remind us that the human spirit is unbroken even when the darkest of days invade everything we consider holy and safe. Salvinia Molesta is very possibly the best book of original poetry I have read this year.

(North Florida Daily News)

Evocative poems that explore war, genocide, infidelity, suicidal thoughts and corporate greed.

(Orange County Register)

About the Author

Victoria Chang lives in Irvine, California, and received an MFA in poetry from the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers. She also holds an MA in Asian History from Harvard, along with an MBA from Stanford, and works as a business researcher and writer for the business school. Her first book of poems, Circle, was the winner of the Association of Asian American Studies Book Award. Her poems have appeared in such publications as Best American Poetry 2005, Paris Review, Kenyon Review, and the Washington Post. She is also the editor of Asian American Poetry: The Next Generation.

The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Series: The VQR Poetry Ser.
  • Paperback: 104 pages
  • Publisher: University of Georgia Press (September 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0820331767
  • ISBN-13: 978-0820331768
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #131,184 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Very cool book!
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