7.12.2010

new poetry: juvenilia by ken chen


A recently heard from writer (and former Angry Reader of the Week) Ken Chen, who informs me of his recently published poetry collection Juvenilia.

Winner of the Yale Series of Younger Poets, the work deals a lot of issues second generation Asian Americans will probably relate to. Here's the publisher's official book description:
Ken Chen is the 2009 winner of the annual Yale Younger Poets competition. These poems of maturation chronicle the poet's relationship with his immigrant family and his unknowing attempt to recapture the unity of youth through comically doomed love affairs that evaporate before they start. Hungrily eclectic, the wry and emotionally piercing poems in this collection steal the forms of the shooting script, blues song, novel, memoir, essay, logical disputation, aphorism—even classical Chinese poetry in translation. But as contest judge Louise Gl├╝ck notes in her foreword, "The miracle of this book is the degree to which Ken Chen manages to be both exhilaratingly modern (anti-catharsis, anti-epiphany) while at the same time never losing his attachment to voice, and the implicit claims of voice: these are poems of intense feeling. . . . Like only the best poets, Ken Chen makes with his voice a new category."
Also, if this is your thing, the book is also half comprised of break-up poems. Ken says himself, "the book is perfect if you've had a break-up recently -- or if your parents have had a breakup lately."

For more information about Juvenilia, including an audio file of Ken reading an excerpt from his poem "Adverserial," go to the Yale University Press website here, or the book's Amazon page here.

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