Checkout this self-published full color 48 page collection of poems and illustrations that I made between 2011-2014. Signed copies are available here and on thejustseeds store. Limited edition of 150. Each one signed by the writer, and includes a personalized note. One of the illustrations is by Alicia W. Brown. This project was supported by a grant from KingCounty 4Culture.
Poetry topics explored include: Eco-Feminism, decolonization, Asian-American identity, intimacy, and the end of human civilization. These poems resurrect the voices of the honey bees suffering from colony collapse disorder, the protesters of the Tiananmen Square massacre, and the Earth on the edge of ecological collapse. 2014. Printed on 100% recycled paper using soy-based inks, and wind power.
illustrated poetry zine
8.5″ x 5.5″
“Jess X. Chen leaves power no place to hide. A singular achievement and a promissory note, From the Earthworm to the Night unflinchingly charts a constellation of violence across family, nation, language, patriarchy, heteronormativity, capitalism, racism, colonialism, empire, and human civilization. While others might collapse or bite back, Jess tarries with the fault lines that carve up the Earth and all its life. She listens with exquisite sensitivity to the silences spanning the vaults of oneself to the vastness of the cosmos. They accompany her poems as Jess delivers a powerful lesson: wounds and the wreckage will forever remain, but the promise of intimacy is to distill hope from history. What happens next remains to be seen. Jess leaves us with much work to do but also with a spirit at once fierce and tender, and undefeatable, the optimism of finitude, and the comfort of the stardust that we will someday become.”
– Chad Shomura, Political Theorist
“Jess’ work pushes beyond the boundaries of possibility and cracks open new worlds that are vibrant, freshly imaginative, and deeply familiar. She combines the innovative restlessness of the avant garde with a firm grasp on the human pulse.”
– Franny Choi, Author of Floating Brilliant Gone
“Here is a melange of voices: child speaking to parents; lover to lover; silence to the earth; the earth shouting back. It’s an exciting moment when they become a singular witness, someone betrayed and learning to “fall more gracefully” in spite of loss. In this edition, Jess X. Chen delivers a remarkable foreshadow of her growing body of work. We should consider ourselves warned.”
– Paul Tran, author of Still Life (forthcoming)