• About


    Mary Jean Chan is a poet, editor and academic from Hong Kong. Her debut collection of poetry is forthcoming from Faber & Faber (2019).


    Her work has appeared in The 2018 Forward Book of Poetry, The Poetry Review, Poetry London, PN Review, Ambit Magazine, The Rialto, The London Magazine, Oxford Poetry, Callaloo Journal, The Asian American Writers' Workshop, Magma, The Scores, Tongue and English: Journal of the English Association.


    Mary Jean's debut pamphlet A Hurry of English is published by ignitionpress (Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre), and was recently selected by a panel of judges as the 2018 Poetry Book Society Summer Pamphlet Choice. Her work is currently forthcoming from several anthologies: The Best New British and Irish Poetry 2018 (Eyewear Publishing, April 2018), Carcanet New Poetries VII (May 2018), Wretched Strangers: Transnational Poetries (Boiler House Press, June 2018) and The Dizziness of Freedom: A Poetry Anthology on Mental Health (Bad Betty Press, September 2018).


    A recent graduate of Swarthmore College and the University of Oxford, Mary Jean served as Vice-President of the Oxford University Poetry Society (2014-2015). She received the 2015 University of London MA Creative Writing Prize, along with fellowships from VONA and Callaloo, and is currently a PhD candidate in Creative Writing, Research Associate and Visiting Lecturer at Royal Holloway, University of London. Her article on Claudia Rankine’s Citizen was recently published in The Journal of American Studies (2018).


    She has been shortlisted for multiple awards, including the 2017 Forward Prize for Best Single Poem, the 2016 London Magazine Poetry Prize and the 2016 Resurgence Poetry Prize (Commended), and is the winner of the 2017 PSA/Journal of Postcolonial Writing Postgraduate Essay Prize, the 2017 Psychoanalysis and Poetry Competition, the 2017 Poetry Society Members' Poetry Competition and the 2016 Oxford Brookes International Poetry Competition (ESL).


    Mary Jean is a Ledbury Emerging Poetry Critic and an Editor at Oxford Poetry.

  • Poems

    Online Publications


    "what my mother (a poet) might say" 

    The Poetry Review


    "Wet Nurse" 

    The Oxford Brookes International Poetry Competition, Winner (ESL), 2016


    "They Would Have All That" 

    The London Magazine


    "At the Castro" 

    Bare Fiction Magazine



    Weekly Poem, Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre

  • Pamphlet

    Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre (ignitionpress)

  • Reviews

    Selected Publications

    Published by U.S. Studies Online: Forum for New Writing (2017)

    Published by Oxford Poetry XVII.i (2017)

    Published by The Poetry Review (Winter 2017)

    Published by Poetry London (2018)

  • Articles

    Selected Publications

    Callaloo: A Journal of African Diaspora Arts and Letters (2016)

    Wild Court, the English Department of

    King's College London (2017)

  • TeD tALK


    31 March 2012

    What Makes a Good Society?

  • Appearances




    24 Jan: Panelist, Ledbury Emerging Critics, the University of Birmingham

    8 Feb: Reading, Poetry London: Spring 2018 Readings, Kings Place, London

    15 Feb: Reading, Waterstones (TCR) with the Lodestone Poets, London

    22 Feb: Reading, International Mother Languages Day, International Anthony Burgess Foundation, Manchester

    27 Feb: Reading, Race and Equality Network at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London

    7 Mar: Reading, ignitionpress Pamphlet Launch, The Poetry Cafe, London

    8 Mar: Reading, ignitionpress Pamphlet Launch, Society Cafe, Oxford

    25 Mar: Reading, ignitionpress Pamphlet Launch, The Oxford Literary Festival, Oxford

    12 Apr: Reading, ignitionpress Pamphlet Launch, Lighthouse Bookshop, Edinburgh

    23 Apr: Talk, Celebration of Adrienne Rich with Poet in the City, Wilton's Music Hall, London

    24 Apr: Reading & Panelist, TOAST Poets, The Harrison, London

    30 Apr: Carcanet New Poetries VII Readings, The London Review Bookshop, London

    2 May: Reading, An Evening of Faber Poets with Lavinia Greenlaw, Sophie Collins, Rachael Allen, Hannah Sullivan & Ishion Hutchinson, Crypt on the Green, London

    28 May: Reading, Poetry Evening at the Troubadour, London

    30 Jun: Panelist, Poetry & Psychoanalysis Conference, The Institute of Psychoanalysis, London




    Dec: Reading, Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool

    Nov: Reading & Talk, Hong Kong International Literary Festival, HK

    Oct: Reading, Oxford Poetry Library Fundraiser, Oxford

    Oct: Panelist, Poets and Publishers, Poetry Swindon Festival, Swindon

    Sept: Reading, The 2017 Forward Prizes for Poetry​, Royal Festival Hall, London

    July: Reading, Transatlantic Poetry, a global, live-streamed event

    July: Reading, Poem-a-Thon, The Poetry Cafe, London

    July: Moderator, English Association Literary Salon with Helen Mort, Newcastle

    July: Panelist, English Shared Futures Conference, Newcastle Civic Center, Newcastle

    June: Reading, Poetry and Psychoanalysis Conference, Institute of Psychoanalysis, London

    May: Panelist, Poetry Across the Atlantic Since 2000 Conference, Rothermere American Institute, University of Oxford

    May: Reading, Free Verse: The Poetry Magazine Fair, The Betsey Trotwood, London

    May: Moderator, Creating China: Writing Across Genres, China Exchange, London

    Apr: Reading, The Poetry Review, House of Illustration Gallery, London

    Apr: Reading, Bare Fiction Magazine, Waterstones, Birmingham

    Apr: Reading, Launch of Ticker Tape, George Street Social, Oxford

    Mar: Panelist, Poetics of Home Conference, The Institute of English Studies, London

    Feb: Moderator, An Evening of Poetry with Sarah Howe, Hannah Lowe & Jennifer Wong, Goodenough College, London

    Jan: Reading, Keats Celebration on the Eve of St. Agnes, Guildhall Art Gallery, London

  • Photo: Shortlist for Best Single Poem

    © Forward Prizes 2017

  • Contact