Chen Chen


陳琛 / Chen Chen’s second book of poetry, Your Emergency Contact Has Experienced an Emergency, is forthcoming from BOA Editions in Sept. 2022. His debut, When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities (BOA Editions, 2017), was longlisted for the National Book Award and won the Thom Gunn Award, among other honors. In 2019 Bloodaxe Books published the UK edition. Chen is also the author of four chapbooks and the forthcoming book of essays, In Cahoots with the Rabbit God (Noemi Press, 2023). His work appears/is forthcoming in many publications, including Poem-a-Day and three editions of The Best American Poetry (2015, 2019, & 2021). He has received two Pushcart Prizes and fellowships from Kundiman and the National Endowment for the Arts. He teaches at Brandeis University as the Jacob Ziskind Poet-in-Residence and serves on the poetry faculty for the low-residency MFA programs at New England College and Stonecoast. With a brilliant team, he edits the journal, Underblong. With Gudetama the lazy egg, he edits the lickety~split. He lives in Waltham, MA with his partner, Jeff Gilbert and their pug, Mr. Rupert Giles. Source


the most beautiful pair of words in the english language is

“eggplant parm.”

followed by “friends forever.”

really, a close second. 

a distant thirtieth is “research assistant.”

of course the most beautiful single english word is


now some might say it’s “dragonfly”

& others “devastation”

but they would all be 122% wrong. 

meanwhile a few might say these are all just other words for 

summer. & they would be 211% right. & if we

were to, every last anglophone, including the staunchest 

of anti-anglophiles, if we had to 

gather & heatedly 

debate the beautifulest trio of words intheenglishlanguage

& the shortlist included such mighty contenders as

“i love you”


“flaming hot cheetos”

the winner would still, 

by the most mile of a mile, be

“jesus [  ] christ.”





Literary Movements:


Anthology Years:



Education & Learning

Humor & Satire

Literary Devices:


exaggerated statements or claims not meant to be taken literally


a recurrence of the same word or phrase two or more times


a phrase, sentence, or longer written work that deviates from the grammatical norm in some way.