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Ken Chen
Foreword by Louise Glück
Copyright Date: 2010
Published by: Yale University Press
Pages: 160
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  • Book Info
    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 Glück 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."

    eISBN: 978-0-300-16028-4
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
    (pp. vii-xviii)
    Louise Glück

    Poetry students in the 1960s were fond of a game based on renga, the Japanese collaborative form that alternates stanzas of seventeen and fourteen syllables. The classical form depends on the principles of link and shift, what Basho called “refraining from stepping back,” each individual stanza both connected to and evolving from its predecessor. In Stanley Kunitz’s twentieth-century classroom, the poem rotated clockwise from student to student; for “poem” read a piece of paper folded backward from the top, so that each of us saw only that stanza directly preceding the one we were about to write, which we hoped...

    (pp. xix-xxii)
  5. 1.
    (pp. 3-28)
    (pp. 31-62)
    (pp. 63-78)