Charles JensenCharles Jensen is the author of six chapbooks of poems, including the recent Story Problems and Breakup/Breakdown, and The First Risk, which was a finalist for the 2010 Lambda Literary Award. A second collection, Nanopedia, is forthcoming in 2018 from Tinderbox Editions. His previous chapbooks include Living Things, which won the 2006 Frank O’Hara Chapbook Award, and The Strange Case of Maribel Dixon (New Michigan Press, 2007). His poem “Tucson” received the 2018 Zócalo Poetry Prize. A past recipient of an Artist’s Project Grant from the Arizona Commission on the Arts, his poetry has appeared in American Poetry Review, Bloom, Columbia Poetry Review, Copper Nickel, Field, The Journal, New England Review, and Prairie Schooner. He is the founding editor of the online poetry magazine LOCUSPOINT, which explores creative work on a city-by-city basis. He lives in Los Angeles.

Photo: David Franco

Story Problems

Click to purchase Story Problems from Palooka Press.

The cover art is by editor Jonathan Starke.


Written in the form of a reading comprehension exam, the poems in Story Problems examine spirituality, religion, science, whiteness, gender, mortality, and childhood, each ending with four questions posed to the reader.


Visit DIAGRAM  to read a brief except from this book.


“As one can see in the above, the poetry arises partly from the leaps between the brief story and the questions. How does the reader comprehend the links between story and questions except to participate in a poetry experience, that is, where narratives need not be transparent, linear or even make sense? This, in fact, is one of the successes of STORY PROBLEMS: how it creates an unconventional space for reader-response….I do believe Charles Jensen is one of the most deft authors today utilizing the chapbook format.” —Eileen Tabios, Galatea Resurrects

Read the full review.


January 2019

Poetry Reading at Book Soup
Featuring Stephen S. Mills and Robert Siek
Saturday, January 26
4 pm
Book Soup
8818 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069

Featuring Stephen S. Mills
Tuesday, January 29
7 pm
Stories Books & Cafe
1716 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026