• About


    Mary Jean Chan is the author of the pamphlet A Hurry of English (Poetry Book Society Summer Pamphlet Choice), published by ignitionpress (2018). She is represented by literary agent Emma Paterson at Aitken Alexander Associates. In 2019, Mary Jean will judge the Poetry Business New Poets Prize. Her debut collection Flèche is forthcoming from Faber & Faber (2019).


    Mary Jean 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' Competition, the 2016 Oxford Brookes International Poetry Competition (ESL) and the 2015 University of London MA Creative Writing Prize. She came Second in the 2017 National Poetry Competition, and was shortlisted for the 2017 Forward Prize for Best Single Poem, the 2017 Geoffrey Dearmer Prize, the 2016 London Magazine Poetry Prize and the 2016 Resurgence Poetry Prize. A graduate of Swarthmore College, the University of Oxford and Royal Holloway, University of London, she served as Vice-President of the Oxford University Poetry Society (2014-15).


    As a Ledbury Poetry Critic, Mary Jean has written reviews for The Guardian, PN Review, The Poetry School, Mslexia, USSO: Forum for New Writing and the Hong Kong Review of Books. Her poems have been published in literary journals including The Poetry Review, Poetry London, PN Review, The White Review, Ambit and English: Journal of the English Association. Her essays have appeared in Wild Court, Callaloo Journal and Modern Poetry in Translation. She is an editor of Oxford Poetry, an editorial board member at Brookes Review, a member of the international research group RAPAPUK and an advisory board member at the Poetry Translation Centre. Born and raised in Hong Kong, Mary Jean currently lives in London and is a Lecturer in Creative Writing (Poetry) at Oxford Brookes University.


  • PAMPhlet & Poems

    Selected Publications

    Poetry Book Society 2018 Summer Pamphlet Choice:

    A Hurry of English



    Praise for A Hurry of English:


    "This brief pamphlet is extraordinarily moving and mature. Chan is an assured writer in many forms. Her art is both fastidious and direct." - Alison Brackenbury



    They Would Have All That 

    The London Magazine



    Tongue Journal


    Two Poems

    The White Review


  • Anthologies

    Selected Publications

    Published by Faber & Faber (2018)

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

    Published by Carcanet Press (2018)

    A selection of my work appears here.

    Published by Boiler House Press (2018)

    Two of my poems, "Hybridity" and "Dress", appear here.

    Published by Bad Betty Press (2018)

    Two of my poems, "Dragon Hill Spa" and "Rise and Shine", appear here.

    Published by Pan Macmillan Children's Books (2018)

    My poem "Practice" appears here.

    Published by Verve Poetry Press (2018)

    My poem "A Lover's Manual" appears here.

    Published by Faber & Faber (2018)

    My poem "Truce" appears here.

    Published by Valley Press (forthcoming in 2019)

    My poem "Dress" appears here.

    Published by Doubleday UK (forthcoming in 2019)

    My poem "They Would Have All That" appears here.

  • Articles & Essays

    Selected Publications

    Modern Poetry in Translation:

    The Best of World Poetry (2018)

    Wild Court, the English Department of

    King's College London (2017)

    Callaloo: A Journal of African Diaspora

    Arts and Letters (2016)

  • Appearances




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

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

    15 Feb: The Lodestone Poets at Tottenham Court Road | Waterstones, 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 July: The National Poetry Competition Winners, The Ledbury Poetry Festival, Ledbury

    6 July: MPT Readings with Richard Scott & Jennifer Tsai, The Ledbury Poetry Festival, Ledbury

    8 July: 20 minutes with Mary Jean Chan, The Ledbury Poetry Festival, Ledbury

    8 July: New Perspectives on Elizabeth Barrett Browning, The Ledbury Poetry Festival, Ledbury

    12 July: Launch of the Dictionary of Rare and Precious Words, Oxford Spires Academy, Oxford

    19 July: Reading with Richard Scott and Sophie Robinson, Islington | Waterstones, London

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

    6 Sept: Modern Poetry in Translation London Launch, Gay's the Word, London

    7 Sept: The White Review Poetry Salon, Burley Fisher Books, London

    30 Sept: The Echo Chamber with Paul Farley, the BBC Contains Strong Language Festival, Hull

    13 Oct: Reading with Xi Chuan and Jennifer Lee Tsai, the Manchester Literature Festival, Manchester

    16 Oct: An Evening of Poetry and Classical Music, Goodenough College, London

    27 Oct: Race and Poetry and Poetics in the UK (Conference), Queen's College, Cambridge

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

    10 Nov: Reading with ignitionpress poets, the Woodstock Poetry Festival, Oxford

    29 Nov: Reading and launch of Wretched Strangers anthology, Waterstones, Oxford

    10 Dec: Reading with Eley Williams and Gulsum Altinbas, Sid Motion Gallery, London




    22 Jan: 20th Century and Contemporary Graduate Research Seminar, English Department, University of Cambridge

    8 Feb: Faber at 90: Poetry Reading by Richard Scott and Mary Jean Chan, National Portrait Gallery, London

    8 Mar: Poets & Border Crossings, StAnza 2019: Scotland's International Poetry Festival, St Andrews

    20 Mar: National Poetry Competition 40th Anniversary Readings, Kings Place, London

  • Media


    31 March 2012

    What Makes a Good Society?

    ignitionpress pamphlet launch (8 March 2018)

    Poem: "Long Distance" (A Hurry of English, ignitionpress 2018)

  • Photo: Best Single Poem Shortlist

    © Forward Prizes 2017