March Poetry Book Club presents Michael Chang, author of Synthetic Jungle

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March Poetry Book Club presents Michael Chang, author of Synthetic Jungle

By The Rumpus

Join us for an exclusive Rumpus Book Club conversation with Michael Chang for their poetry collection Synthetic Jungle led by Former Owner/Editor-in-Chief and Current Editor-at-Large Marisa Siegel.

About the March Poetry Book Club selection:

A vital breath of life arrives in American poetry with Synthetic Jungle, the latest collection from acclaimed poet Michael Chang. With poems in a register both hilarious and scathing, Synthetic Jungle effortlessly bashes convention while simultaneously rebuilding the language we use to communicate our fears and joys. Synthetic Jungle is a collection written by a brilliant jester who winks at you as you catch their every reference before sharing a laugh at your own self-satisfaction. Themes of identity, sexuality, and literacy play out in a dizzying rhythm of microtheaters. Readers will find themselves giggling, snorting, and guffawing their way through this work: whether at a repudiation of the literary landscape or a critique of a failing justice system, to laugh along with Chang is to recognize your mistakes and, ultimately, grow from them. Fractal and kinetic in the quick-witted spirit of John Ashbery and Emily Dickinson, Chang’s tender poems dance around, between, and through the personal and philosophical. Synthetic Jungle is as sweet as it is grand, and beneath its sarcastic grin reverberates an immense, open heart.

MICHAEL CHANG (they/them) is the author of several collections of poetry, including BOYFRIEND PERSPECTIVE and ALMANAC OF USELESS TALENTS. Their poems have been nominated for Best New Poets, Best of the Net, and the Pushcart Prize. They were awarded the Poetry Project’s prestigious Brannan Prize in 2021. Tapped to edit Lambda Literary’s EMERGE anthology, they serve as a poetry editor at the acclaimed journal FENCE.

Marisa Siegel holds an MFA from Mills College in Oakland, CA. Her essay "Inherited Anger" appears in the anthology BURN IT DOWN and her poetry chapbook FIXED STARS is out now from Burrow Press. She is senior acquiring editor for trade at Northwestern University Press, and editor-at-large for The Rumpus. Find her online at

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