By Kaliyah Richardson
Chang chose to major in English, focusing on British and American poets. Soon after entering her first year at Barnard, Ms. Chang’s poem “Mood” was published in the Modern Poetry Association’s Poetry, the most prestigious poetry journal of the time, which was founded by Harriet Monroe in 1912. Chang’s literary talent was no secret at Barnard; she was chosen in May 1947 to read an original poem at the Undergraduate Association’s tea in honor of the retiring Dean Virginia Gildersleeve. Her poem “Spring Comes Too Intricately” was published in the campus literary magazine The Bear as the winning entry in a literary contest sponsored by the magazine. In Chang’s yearbook profile, alongside her interests in golf and yoga, her classmates note her status as a published poet. In May 1949, she graduated from Barnard cum laude, and she was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa shortly thereafter.
After graduation, Chang traveled to France on a Fulbright Scholarship and studied French symbolist poetry at the Sorbonne. After returning to New York, she held editorial positions at various publishing firms and began working on her first novel, The Frontiers of Love, which was published in 1956 to critical acclaim. She went on to publish five more novels and three volumes of poetry between 1959 and 1991. Over the years, Chang maintained her connection to Barnard, occasionally publishing articles in the alumnae magazine. “Typewriters and Trees” chronicles her experience in an artist’s colony in New Hampshire, and “I See the City” is a photo-essay featuring images by noted photographer Rollie McKenna and excerpts from Chang’s novel, A Woman of Thirty (1959). She returned to Barnard in 1979 as an adjunct associate professor of English, teaching creative writing and an interdisciplinary class called “Imagery and Form in the Arts.”