Review by Ron Slate in Quarterly Conversation

“Selected for the Yale Series of Younger Poets, Ken Chen’s debut, Juvenilia, engages the notion of artistic expression as process of maturation: the speaker reaches to the memory of his youth (the past) to construct a portrait of what colors his adult world view (the present). Juvenilia is a wonderful debut, simultaneously devastating and beautiful.” — Rigoberto Gonzalez in The Poetry Foundation

Winner of the Yale Series of Younger Poets competition, Ken Chen’s first book walks the high wire between deeply felt trauma and poetic artifact…. In her illuminating foreword, Louise Glück writes, “immigrant displacement . . . [is] a metaphor for the adult’s relation to his childhood, or origins.” Pursuing this trope—the centrality of which explains why Juvenilia lays claim to our whole attention, intellectual and emotional—Chen delivers a memorable, beautiful-yet-sly, powerful debut.” —Sumita Chakraborty in the Boston Review of Books

Review by Abigail Licad in Hyphen