Jess X. Chen

Jess X. Chen is a film director, artist/activist and nationally-touring poet. After the Cultural Revolution, her parents immigrated from rural Nanchang, China to Canada in the late 1980s. Her work exposes narratives of colonial trauma, diaspora and collective protest by connecting the violences between the queer and colored body and the body of the Earth. Her art and films have been featured in Asian American International Film Festival, The Huffington Post, and at the Asian Cinevision Diversity Screening at the New York Times. Her poetry has appeared in Nepantla: A Journal for Queer Poets of Color and is forthcoming in The Margins and The Offing. She is currently developing a feature film on the Navajo Nation. She teaches mural and poetry workshops to migrant and indigenous youth communities. (

January Lit: "How to Forgive 100 Years After a War" by Jess X. Chen

For the first lit feature of the new year, we're pleased to present a haunting poem by Jess X. Chen that beats with lust, intimacy, and destruction.

-- Karissa Chen, Fiction & Poetry Editor

How to Forgive 100 Years After A War

At the mouth of "yes,"
we climb under the sheets.

When our hands touch, 
we cross into a new time zone.

Your shadow falls upon my face,
and the body of my motherland 

      is reduced to ash.