Chen Chen
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Chen Chen

When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities
Longlisted for the National Book Award
...is a poet of Whitman's multitudes and of Langston Hughes' blues
—Jericho Brown
This is a book that is part elegy for the past and part love song for the future
—Victoria Chang

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poetsandwriters:

“Far more interesting is to find your own prompt: to go through the day listening, to ask each thing you see or hear or read if there might be the seed of a poem in it. That in itself is a refocusing of the psyche toward the possibility of poem-making. Another way of saying this is: Reset your intention toward recognizing the poem waiting to be found.”

Jane Hirshfield, in “Reconnecting After a Silence” in the January/February issue of Poets & Writers Magazine (2018)

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Chen Chen has that sort of voice. His emails to me […] are full of the same characteristics that make his poems so satisfying: the unexpected but precise adjectives, the recursive syntax that opens up rather than reduces the ideas it seeks to communicate, and the unbridled exuberance for life and writing and the ways in which they can shape each other.

Oops didn’t realize that this interview already went up on Hobart! This is one of my favorites, conducted over a couple (several?) months, question by question, via email. Thanks to Daniel Pieczkolon for the conversation—& for being so patient!

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Oh hey I’m also doing this reading—this Sunday! Poets in Pajamas!! Free & online through Facebook Live. Would love to get a question about Mr. Giles! Thanks to Sam Slaughter for organizing. 

+ more info

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Ahh so glad to be a part of this upcoming reading!! 

On July 27, hosted by Kearny Street Workshop in San Francisco. 

With Kristin Chang, Yujane Chen, & Muriel Leung. Bay Area friends: come thru! 

Mega love & thanks to Michelle Lin & Kazumi Chin for organizing.

+ more info

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🌈 I made this downloadable poster featuring the magical resistance of queer diasporic people of color because I felt like many of our stories and vision are being erased from the art currently being made about migration.
The words are by @thesoniag ft the queer diasporic love of @thesoniag & @brownroundboi ❤️🌈 My queerness and my migration are not mutually exclusive. Families of all across the gender spectrum and of all orientations are separated and affected by borders. Support the migrant artists and writers in your communities. Support the queer artists. There are a lot of us out there who are not being given the spotlight right now even though we have spent lifetimes making a body of work about our personal and community migrant experiences literally to heal ourselves and our communities. We have been creating worlds without borders long before protests became cool and since the day our migration and queer journeys began. 🌈
Download this and many more protest posters at: www.jessxsnow.com/protest-art , I’d love to see you take this to the streets. ✊🏽✊ prints coming soon 🌈 #abolishice #familiesbelongtogether #jessxsnow #soniaguinansaca #brownroundboi #queer #queerasinabolishice #queerart #pride

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theimpossiblecool:

“Love takes off the masks we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within.” 

James Baldwin.

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What a beautiful queer night of poems & queers—at Women & Children First bookstore in Chicago~ So glad I got to read with Sam Herschel Wein, Levi Todd, & Kate Hao. What magic. + I read a poem from Kissing the Sphinx that I’ve like never read in front of ppl! It’s a v strange tale involving a rash on Sarah Jessica Parker’s left elbow! + Sam & I read a collab poem about a v shy ghost traveling thru St Louis—from our chapbook, Gesundheit! (+ thanks to Chris Rife for the last pic)

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Celebrate #pridemonth with poetry! 🌈 @poetsorg has a wonderful collection of LGBTQ poets and poetry for you to explore, ‘I Invite My Parents to a Dinner Party’ by @chenchenwrites is just one brilliant example of what you can find on poets.org/poetsorg/lgbtq-poetry

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I’ve got a short essay, “I’m Not Here to Play the Suffering Minority for White Readers,” up at Electric Literature today. Thanks to Editor-in-Chief Jess Zimmerman for inviting me to expand on some ideas from my tweets–and for some brilliant edits. Thanks also to Sam Herschel (I mean, always!!!) for the conversation; you understand so perfectly how to write nonfiction as a poet/as poetry. And I’m deeply grateful to Monica Sok for some recent conversations, as well. Some of the ideas here also grew out of a panel discussion I got to participate in with Angel Nafis and Rigoberto González, moderated by Tara Jayakar, at the Sarah Lawrence Poetry Festival. 

I’m continuing to think through these ideas; some of the bits that didn’t make it into this version might end up in a longer one. I want to make some more unexpected connections, leaps; I’m working on bringing more oddity into my nonfiction.

//

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Today’s reads on Electric Literature

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Two years ago today, forty-nine people were gunned down at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, many of them queer and Latinx. Here are two poems I wrote in response.

Thinking about what it means to mourn people I did not know personally. Thinking about collective queer forms of mourning and outrage and healing. Thinking and dreaming about queer kinship, how to keep building a livable now, and future.

Thanks to Julian Randall for featuring these poems back in January in Lineage of Mirrors, a series dedicated to the work of poets of color at Winter Tangerine.

Read the rest of “Elegy While Listening to a Song…” 

Read the rest of “One Year Later: A Letter”

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