Self Portrait as a Chair

consistently stepped
on for others to reach
higher places. not useful
when missing screws.
utility based solely on activity.
(no one uses me just to make
a fashion statement).
often needed for certain locations
(the kitchen the office
and sometimes outside
if the ground isn’t good enough).
tends to shake if under
too much pressure.
in frequent need of repair.




Poem read by Jesse Kuhn



Chavonn Williams Shen is a Minneapolis native and an educator. She was a first place winner for the 2017 Still I Rise grant for African American women hosted by Alternating Current Press and a 2017 Pushcart Prize nominee. She was also a 2017 Best of the Net Award finalist, a winner of the 2016-2017 Mentor Series in Poetry and Creative Prose through the Loft Literary Center, and a 2016 fellow through the Givens Foundation for African American Literature. Her poetry has appeared in Footnote #4: A Literary Journal of History, A3 Review, and The Coil. Writing has shown Chavonn to use art to explore new worlds, build communities, and advocate for the marginalized. She is currently pursuing her MFA in creative writing at Hamline University.

Photo by Peter Limthongviratn



Next Page (Welcome)

Previous Page (Chavonn Williams Shen)