• About


    Mary Jean Chan is a poet, editor and academic. Her debut pamphlet A Hurry of English is published by ignitionpress, and was selected as the 2018 Poetry Book Society Summer Pamphlet Choice. Mary Jean's debut collection is forthcoming from Faber & Faber (2019).


    Her work has appeared in The 2018 Forward Book of Poetry, Carcanet New Poetries VII, The Best New British and Irish Poetry 2018, The Poetry Review, Poetry London, PN Review, Ambit, The Rialto, The London Magazine, Oxford Poetry, Callaloo Journal, The Asian American Writers' Workshop, Mascara Literary Review, Magma, The Scores, Tongue and English: Journal of the English Association.


    A graduate of Swarthmore College, the University of Oxford and Royal Holloway, Mary Jean served as Vice-President of the Oxford University Poetry Society (2014-2015). She is the winner of the 2017 Anne Born Prize, 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). She came Second in the 2017 National Poetry Competition, and was shortlisted for the 2017 Forward Prize for Best Single Poem and the 2016 Resurgence Poetry Prize.


    A Ledbury Emerging Poetry Critic, her reviews are published in The Poetry Review, Poetry London, PN Review, The Poetry School and the Hong Kong Review of Books. Her article on Claudia Rankine’s Citizen was published in The Journal of American Studies (2018).


    Born and raised in Hong Kong, Mary Jean lives in London, where she works as a freelancer and an editor at Oxford Poetry. She is a PhD candidate in Creative Writing and a Research Associate at Royal Holloway, University of London.

  • PAMPhlet & Poems

    Selected Publications

    Poetry Book Society 2018 Summer Pamphlet Choice:

    A Hurry of English



    what my mother (a poet) might say 

    The Poetry Review


    Wet Nurse 

    The Oxford Brookes International Poetry Competition, Winner (ESL)


    They Would Have All That 

    The London Magazine


    At the Castro 

    Bare Fiction Magazine



    Weekly Poem, Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre

  • Anthologies

    Selected Publications

    Published by Faber & Faber (2018)

    My poem "//" (shortlisted for the 2017 Forward Prize for Best Single Poem) is published here.

    Published by Carcanet Press (2018)

    A selection of my work is published here.

  • Articles & Essays

    Selected Publications

    Wild Court, the English Department of

    King's College London (2017)

    Callaloo: A Journal of African Diaspora

    Arts and Letters (2016)

  • TeD tALK


    31 March 2012

    What Makes a Good Society?

  • Appearances




    24 Jan: The Ledbury Emerging Poetry Critics, University of Birmingham

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

    15 Feb: Waterstones (Tottenham Court Road) with the Lodestone Poets, London

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

    27 Feb: Race and Equality: An Evening of Poetry and Film, King's College London

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

    8 Mar: ignitionpress Pamphlet Launch, Society Cafe, Oxford

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

    12 Apr: ignitionpress Pamphlet Launch, Lighthouse Bookshop, Edinburgh

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

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

    2 May: An Evening of Faber Poets with Sophie Collins, Rachael Allen, Hannah Sullivan & Ishion Hutchinson, Bloomsbury House, 74-77 Great Russell Street, London

    4 May: Carcanet New Poetries VII Launch, The Old Library, All Souls College, Oxford

    28 May: Reading with Amy Key, Claudine Toutoungi & Eleni Cay, the Troubadour, London

    30 May: Reading with Will Harris, Theo Kwek & Jennifer Tsai, 11 Bedford Square, London

    31 May: Reading at the UN Human Rights Symposium, The American School in London

    5 June: Out-Spoken Live at the 100 Club, 100 Oxford Street, London

    8 June: The Forward Prizes at the Second Home Literary Festival, Holland Park, London

    16 June: Poets Poets Day 2018: Readings & Discussion, UCL English Department, London

    18 June: Reading at Bradfield College, Bradfield, Berkshire

    20 June: Rogers, Coleridge & White Literary Salon, 20 Powis Mews, London

    30 June: Poetry and Psychoanalysis Conference, The Institute of Psychoanalysis, London

    5-8 July: The Ledbury Poetry Festival, Ledbury

    12 July: Launch of England: Poems from a School, Oxford Spires Academy, Oxford

    25 July: The Poetry Book Society Summer Showcase, Southbank Centre, London

    3 Oct: Dizziness of Freedom: An Anthology on Mental Health, Waterstones, Birmingham

    4 Oct: National Poetry Day Live, Southbank Centre, London

    13 Oct: Contemporary Chinese Poets at the Manchester Literature Festival, Manchester

    3 Nov: Queer Studio with Richard Scott, Poetry in Aldeburgh, Suffolk

    10 Nov: The Woodstock Poetry Festival, Oxford




    Dec: Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool

    Nov: Hong Kong International Literary Festival, HK

    Oct: Oxford Poetry Library Fundraiser, Oxford

    Oct: Poets and Publishers, Poetry Swindon Festival, Swindon

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

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

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

    July: English Association Literary Salon with Helen Mort, Newcastle

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

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

    May: Poetry Across the Atlantic Since 2000 Conference, the University of Oxford

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

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

    Apr: The Poetry Review Spring Issue Launch, House of Illustration Gallery, London

    Apr: Bare Fiction Magazine Launch, Waterstones, Birmingham

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

    Feb: Sarah Howe, Hannah Lowe & Jennifer Wong at Goodenough College, London

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

  • Photo: Best Single Poem Shortlist

    © Forward Prizes 2017

  • Contact