A new *starred* review from Publishers Weekly is calling Chen Chen's When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities a "vibrant debut collection."
Balancing the "politics surrounding shame and desire with hearty doses of joy, humor, and whimsy," Chen "[makes] sense of his past to imagine a better future in his poems."
The review says, "To this end he recounts a personal history in which he playfully addresses deeply serious issues, particularly a longing to defy the fate prescribed to him by family members or others’ cultural ideas of normalcy . . . As a gay, Asian-American poet, Chen casts his poems as both a refusal of the shame of sexuality and of centering whiteness or treating it as a highly desirable trait. Readers encounter sharp, delightful turns between poems, as Chen shifts from elegy to ode and back again."
The review concludes, "Moving between whimsy and sobriety, Chen both exhibits and defies vulnerability—an acute reminder that there are countless further possibilities."
Click here to see the full starred PW review.
For more information on When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities, visit the BOA Bookstore.