We are thrilled to announce that Chen Chen is the winner of the of the 2018 Great Lakes Colleges Association (GLCA) New Writers Award in Poetry for his Poulin Prize-winning collection When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities (BOA Editions, 2017).
The GLCA judges praised Chen's work, stating:
“A mix of clever poetic premises and life’s abiding promise, Chen Chen’s When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities is a debut collection that cannot be ignored. This collection is by turns comic, dark, self-obsessed, playful, and restless. The poems move into and through and beyond a relationship with his family, particularly his mother, exploring queer identity in the face of familial disapproval. This is a book whose narrator is bursting at the seams with energy because he has so much to say. There is clarity and unity of voice, employing simple language across poems that embody very different formal techniques in meditational, lyrical, and/or elegiac modes. His strategies of association allow him to say a lot, connect a lot, and feel fresh. These poems are embracing of our human flaws while also turning to the positive connections we make in our lives.”
Chen's When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities was selected by Jericho Brown for the 2016 A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize and was longlisted for a National Book Award in 2017. Chen was born in Xiamen, China, and grew up in Massachusetts. He was named one of “Ten Poets Who Will Change the World” in Poets & Writers and has received fellowships from Kundiman, Lambda Literary, and the Saltonstall Foundation. He earned his MFA at Syracuse University and is currently pursuing a PhD in English and Creative Writing at Texas Tech University. He lives in Rochester, NY, with his partner Jeff Gilbert and their pug dog Mr. Rupert Giles.
Read more about the GLCA New Writers Award on the Great Lakes Colleges Association website. When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities is available on the BOA Bookstore.