A portrait of queer Chinese American poet Chen Chen, standing in front of a large beige apartment building. His hair is dyed an orangey-blonde. He wears clear-framed glasses, a dark purple button-down with gray polka dot pattern, and a gray blazer. His facial expression is gently joyful.




Chen Chen’s second book of poetry, Your Emergency Contact Has Experienced an Emergency, is forthcoming from BOA Editions this September. His first book, When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities (BOA Editions, 2017), was long-listed for the National Book Award and won the Thom Gunn Award, among other honors. He has also written four chapbooks and an essay collection, In Cahoots with the Rabbit God, is forthcoming from Noemi Press in late 2023. His work appears in many publications, including Poetry and three editions of The Best American Poetry. He has received two Pushcart Prizes and fellowships from Kundiman, the National Endowment for the Arts, and United States Artists. He teaches at Brandeis University as the Jacob Ziskind Poet-in-Residence and also serves on the poetry faculty for the low residency MFA programs at New England College and Stonecoast. This spring he is also an Associate Lecturer for UMass Boston’s MFA program.

Read more on his website.

SESSION: On Beginning (Again)

How did you come to writing? Or, how did writing come to you? And why do you continue to write? During this time of great collective uncertainty and upheaval, it may be difficult to know what role writing has, for those of us starting out on this path as well as for those of us who have been writers for many years. In this generative session, we’ll explore some ways to re-entangle with our boldest, unruliest writing dreams/hungers/questions. Work by Jennifer S. Cheng, Aracelis Girmay, Hélène Cixous, Sean Thomas Dougherty, and Bhanu Kapil will be our guides as we dive into short experiments in language and aliveness. All genres welcome.