Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Poetry & Migration: Featuring Chen Chen

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March 22, 2017 #WeComeFromEverything

First Light

Chen Chen

About This Poem


"I'm tired of the dominant immigration narrative, the one that romanticizes the United States as a land of opportunity and fails to recognize the deep sorrow many immigrants confront, leaving a home country—even when it's a real choice to do so. I'm also tired of what has more recently become the dominant coming out narrative, the happy tale of full acceptance that marginalizes the experiences of those who aren't so fortunate to have supportive family. This poem is an attempt to hold heartbreak close."
—Chen Chen


Join Us: Because We Come From Everything


This week we'll be showcasing poems that speak to the theme of immigration, as part of the Poetry Coalition's national initiative Because We Come From Everything: Poetry & Migration.


Join this initiative by learning more about your local community. Visit the American Immigrant Council for state-specific data and facts about the immigrant population where you live.


And share your favorite lines from this week's poems with #WeComeFromEverything.


Read more poems by Chen Chen.


Read more poems, essays, and books about migration and immigration.


Read this week's other poems on migration from Poem-a-Day.


Chen Chen is the author of When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities, forthcoming in April from BOA Editions. He teaches at Texas Tech University and lives in Lubbock, Texas.

Poetry by Chen


"Lunch Break" by Francisco Aragón


"A Green Crab's Shell" by Mark Doty


"Music from Childhood" by John Yau



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