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Rave Reviews for CHEN CHEN's WHEN I GROW UP I WANT TO BE A LIST OF FURTHER POSSIBILITIES

Rave new reviews have surfaced for Chen Chen's A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize-winning collection When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities, including a starred review from Library Journal and another from Harvard Review.

Making Library Journal's list of "Exciting Poetry for Spring: 13 Highly Recommended Titles That Will Shock You Awake," the collection is called "visually vivid, erotic and intimate, at times bitingly funny, and refreshingly world-observant."

According to reviewer Barbara Hoffert, "Chen’s poems are steeped in the pain of being other as both Asian American and gay. He’s excellent at relating the confusion of childhood, recalling 'Mom & Dad’s / idiot faces, yelling at me' as they confront his sexuality and grappling with the consequences of his heritage. The standout poem 'First Light' enumerates many different, often outré ways Chen envisions having come to this country, embodying the kind of imagination it takes to adapt to a new culture. Throughout, there’s ratcheted-up emotion yet an amazing command of language."

Library Journal's verdict? "An A. Poulin Jr. Poetry Prize winner; expansive work for expansive audiences."

Harvard Review's Jeff Nguyen says, "Chen Chen commands the powers of the cute to address the kingdom of the crushed. His brittle and squishy lines appeal to our sense of touch, while making difficult affections, queerer strivings, and confrontations with power all the more palpable. This tart and startling debut leaves you awwing and awestruck."

Poetry.LA recently released a video of Chen Chen for its "A Poem By" series, which is available for viewing here. Poetry.LA produces video of performances by, and interviews with, established and emerging poets in Southern California to showcase the region's rich poetry scene.

On May 16, Verse Daily featured Chen Chen's poem "Self-Portrait as So Much Potential," from his new collection, as its poem of the day. Read it here.

For more about When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities, visit the BOA Bookstore.


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