The Writer’s Center presents a FREE virtual chat about the craft of fiction! We’re joined by Megan Kamalei Kakimoto to discuss her “knockout” debut story collection, Every Drop Is a […]22 Oct 2023
Virtual Craft Chat with Poet Chen Chen
Poet Lore and The Writer’s Center present a FREE virtual chat about the craft of poetry! We’re joined by Chen Chen to discuss his new poetry collection, Your Emergency Contact Has Experienced an Emergency. Chen is in conversation with Emily Holland, poet and Editor of Poet Lore, America’s oldest poetry magazine.
Chen Chen was born in Xiamen, China, and grew up in Massachusetts. His debut poetry collection, When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities, won the A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize. His work has appeared in two chapbooks and in such publications as Poetry, Gulf Coast, Indiana Review, Best of the Net, and The Best American Poetry. He is the recipient of fellowships from Kundiman, the Saltonstall Foundation, and Lambda Literary. He earned his BA at Hampshire College and his MFA at Syracuse University. He lives in Lubbock, Texas, where he is pursuing a PhD in English and Creative Writing at Texas Tech University. For more about Chen Chen, visit chenchenwrites.com.
About the Book
What happens when everything falls away, when those you call on in times of need are themselves calling out for rescue?
In his highly anticipated second collection, Chen Chen continues his investigation of family, both blood and chosen, examining what one inherits and what one invents, as a queer Asian American living through an era of Trump, mass shootings and the COVID-19 pandemic. Working, always working in the wrecked heart of this new collection is a switchboard operator, picking up and connecting calls. Raucous 2 a.m. prank calls. Whispered-in-a-classroom emergency calls. And sometimes, its pages record the dropping of a call, a failure or refusal to pick up. With irrepressible humor and play, these anarchic poems celebrate life, despite all that would crush aliveness.
Hybrid in form and set in New England, West Texas, and a landlocked province of China, among other places, Your Emergency Contact Has Experienced an Emergency refuses neat categorizations and pat answers. Instead, the book offers an insatiable curiosity about how it is we keep finding ways to hold onto one another.