Chen Chen is the author of When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities (BOA Editions, 2017), which was longlisted for the National Book Award and won the A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize, the GLCA New Writers Award, the Texas Book Award for Poetry, and the Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry. The collection was also a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry and named a Stonewall Honor Book in Literature. Bloodaxe Books will be publishing a UK edition in June 2019.
Chen is also the author of two chapbooks, Set the Garden on Fire (Porkbelly Press, 2015) and Kissing the Sphinx (Two of Cups Press, 2016). His work has appeared in many publications, including Poetry, The New York Times Magazine, The Massachusetts Review, Poem-a-Day, The Best American Poetry, The Best American Nonrequired Reading, Best of the Net, and Bettering American Poetry.
He is a 2019 NEA Fellow in Creative Writing. He has also received fellowships and scholarships from Kundiman, Lambda Literary, the Saltonstall Foundation, Sundress Academy for the Arts, and Tent: Creative Writing. He was a 2015 finalist for the Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowships. He won the 2015 Matt Clark Editors’ Choice Award from New Delta Review. He has been nominated numerous times for the Pushcart Prize and received a Special Mention in the 2017 anthology. Poets & Writers featured him in their Inspiration Issue as one of “Ten Poets Who Will Change the World" and The Atlantic featured him in an article entitled “How Poetry Came to Matter Again.“ His work has been translated into French, Greek, Russian, and Spanish.
He holds an MFA from Syracuse University, where he was a University Fellow, and a PhD in English and Creative Writing from Texas Tech University, where he received a J.T. and Margaret Talkington Fellowship and won the Warren S. Walker Award for Best Critical Writing.
As an editor, he has worked on Salt Hill, Iron Horse Literary Review, and Gabby Journal. He has also guest-edited or judged for several journals. With his best friend, Sam Herschel Wein, he co-runs Underblong.
He has taught for Writers & Books in Rochester, NY; Winter Tangerine guest seminars online and at Poets House; and The Watering Hole Retreat in McCormick, SC. He is a recurring online instructor for The Adroit Journal’s Summer Mentorship Program; the Speakeasy Project; and Catapult. He teaches creative writing at Brandeis University as the Jacob Ziskind Poet-in-Residence.
Whenever possible, he would like to have long, beautiful conversations about Tuxedo Mask. He lives in Waltham, MA with his partner, Jeff Gilbert and their pug, Mr. Rupert Giles.