We are thrilled to announce that Chen Chen is the winner of the fifteenth annual A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize for his collection When I Grow up I Want to be a List of Further Possibilities. The collection was selected by highly-acclaimed poet Jericho Brown. Chen will receive a $1,500 honorarium and book publication by BOA Editions, Ltd. in spring 2017.
Of the winning collection, Brown says, “Chen Chen refuses to be boxed in or nailed down. He is a poet of Whitman’s multitudes and of Langston Hughes’ blues, of Dickinson’s ‘so cold no fire can warm me’ and of Michael Palmer’s comic interrogation. What unifies the brilliance of When I Grow up I Want to be a List of Further Possibilities is a voice desperate to believe that within every one of life’s sadnesses there is also hope, meaning, and—if we are willing to laugh at ourselves—humor. This is a book I wish existed when I first began reading poetry. Chen is a poet I’ll be reading for the rest of my life.”
The runner-up, also selected by Brown, is Land of Fire by Mario Chard.
Chen Chen grew up in Amherst, Massachusetts, and earned his BA at Hampshire College and his MFA at Syracuse University. Currently, he is pursuing a PhD in English and Creative Writing at Texas Tech University. His work has appeared in two chapbooks and publications such as Poetry, The Massachusetts Review, Drunken Boat, Best of the Net 2015, and The Best American Poetry 2015. He has received fellowships from Kundiman, the Saltonstall Foundation, Lambda Literary, and in 2015 he was a finalist for the Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowships. Chen lives in Lubbock, Texas with his partner, Jeff Gilbert.
BOA Editions will accept manuscripts for the sixteenth annual A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize between August 1 and November 30, 2016. An entry form and fee are required. Click here for complete eligibility requirements and guidelines.
Congratulations, Chen, and welcome to the BOA family!