Chen Chen was born in 1989 in Xiamen, China, and "grew up" in Massachusetts in the US. His first book-length collection, When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities (BOA Editions, US, 2017; Bloodaxe Books, UK, 2019), was longlisted for the National Book Award and won the A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize, the Great Lakes Colleges Association (GLCA) New Writers Award, the Texas Book Award for Poetry, and the Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry. The book was also a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry and named a Stonewall Honor Book. He had previously published two chapbooks, Kissing the Sphinx (Two of Cups Press, 2016) and Set the Garden on Fire (Porkbelly Press, 2015). His work has been widely acclaimed in the US, with Poets & Writers Magazine featuring him in their Inspiration Issue as one of ‘Ten Poets Who Will Change the World’.
He earned his BA from Hampshire College and his MFA from Syracuse University, where he was a University Fellow, and is currently working on a PhD in English and Creative Writing through Texas Tech University as an off-site student and the recipient of a J.T. and Margaret Talkington Fellowship. He edits Underblong with the poet Sam Herschel Wein and serves as a contributing editor for Bettering American Poetry. Chen lives in frequently snowy Rochester, NY, with his partner, Jeff Gilbert and their pug dog, Mr Rupert Giles. He is the 2018-2020 Jacob Ziskind Poet-in-Residence at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts.
Author photo: Mike Lovett
Books by Chen Chen