Ken Chen is the Executive Director of the Asian American Writers’ Workshop. He is the recipient of the Yale Younger Poets Award, the oldest annual literary award in America, for his book Juvenilia, which was selected by the poet Louise Glück. An NEA, NYFA and Bread Loaf fellow, Chen co-founded the cultural website Arts & Letters Daily and CultureStrike, a national arts organization dedicated to migrant justice. His essay “Authenticity Obsession, or Conceptualism as Minstrel Show”—on the appropriations of Kenneth Goldsmith and Vanessa Place—became a key text in contemporary conversations about race and literature and has been cited in The New Republic, The New Yorker, LARB, Jacket, and New York Times. A graduate of Yale Law School, he successfully defended the asylum application of an undocumented Muslim high school student from Guinea detained by Homeland Security.
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MEDIA MENTIONS & APPEARANCES
“A Poem in The Nation Spurs a Backlash and an Apology,” New York Times, 8/1/18.
“Michael Derrick Hudson Won Awards as Yi-Fen Chou.” Daily Beast, 4/20/18
Signatory to a letter in support of Queens Museum of Art Executive Director Laura Raicovich. Hyperallergic 1/31/18.
“A Writer Workshop for Workers and a Long Poem,” The New Yorker, 9/7/17.
“AAWW Continues the Conversation,” Poets & Writers, 12/15/15.
“Something Borrowed,” The New Yorker, 10/5/15.
“There’s a New Movement in American Poetry and It’s Not Kenneth Goldsmith,” The New Republic, 2015.
“They Pretend To Be Us While Pretending We Don’t Exist,” Buzzfeed, 9/11/15.
“A White Poet Borrows a Chinese Name and Sets Off Fireworks,” New York Times, 9/9/15.
“Jeff Chang on Hip Hop, Street Art, and Racial Justice in America,” NBC News, 11/12/14.
“#ActualAsianPoet Claps Back at White Poet Who Used Asian Pen Name,” Colorlines, 9/14/14.
“To Achieve Diversity In Publishing, A Difficult Dialogue Beats Silence,” All Things Considered, 2014.
“In Elite MFA Programs, The Challenge Of Writing While ‘Other,’” All Things Considered, 2014.