Chen Chen Recommends...

“I love writing that allows for many things to happen at once—writing that involves multiple collisions of multiplying constellations while a cruise ship full of handsome hearts comes pounding through. So, my recommendation is to (re)watch The Magic School Bus and then watch the Netflix series Grace and Frankie, keeping in mind and heart that Lily Tomlin is the voice of Ms. Frizzle. And that the full name of Ms. Frizzle’s iconic pet lizard, Liz, is Elizabeth Savannah Frizzle. One day I will write about all of this, but maybe you’ll beat me to it. I also recommend Kazumi Chin’s book Having a Coke With Godzilla (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2017), which brings into magnificent conversation Ariana Grande, Sailor Moon, the struggle against white supremacist cishet patriarchy, and yes, Godzilla. While I’m at it, I have to recommend Chloe Honum’s chapbook Then Winter (Bull City Press, 2017), which works to destigmatize mental illness and sings a love song for snowy days in Massachusetts. I accidentally left Honum’s chapbook (after she signed it for me at a reading!) on a Greyhound bus, but I’m hoping someone else will pick it up and love it so that I can say I did it on purpose (after writing this, though, I’ll be writing to the author to ask for another signed copy). My last recommendation is to find a tree. A tree with many, many branches, underneath or within which you allow yourself to daydream and nightsing.”
—Chen Chen, author of When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities (BOA Editions, 2017)