• About


    Mary Jean Chan (b. 1990) is a poet and editor from Hong Kong.


    Her work has appeared in The 2018 Forward Book of Poetry, The Poetry Review, PN Review, Ambit, The Rialto, The London Magazine, Oxford Poetry, Callaloo Journal, The Asian American Writers' Workshop, Magma and English: Journal of the English Association. Her debut pamphlet will be published by ignitionpress (Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre) in February 2018, with newer work forthcoming from Poetry London and Carcanet New Poetries VII.


    A graduate of Swarthmore College (BA) and the University of Oxford (MPhil), 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 and Research Associate at Royal Holloway, University of London. She will be a Visiting Lecturer in English at Royal Holloway in Spring 2018.


    Mary Jean has been shortlisted for the 2017 Forward Prize for Best Single Poem, and is the winner of the 2017 Psychoanalysis and Poetry Competition and the 2017 PSA/Journal of Postcolonial Writing Postgraduate Essay Prize. She is a co-editor of Oxford Poetry and a Ledbury Emerging Poetry Critic.

  • Poems

    Online Publications


    " // " 

    Ambit (Shortlisted for the 2017 Forward Prize for Best Single Poem)


    "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

  • Articles

    Selected Publications

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

  • Reviews & Essays

    Selected Publications

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

    The one-day symposium held at the Rothermere American Institute (RAI) at the University of Oxford on ‘Poetry Across the Atlantic Since 2000’ featured an arresting array of speakers from both sides of the Atlantic...

    Published by Oxford Poetry XVII.i

    In Kumukanda’s central sequence “calling a spade a spade”, Kayo Chingonyi introduces an epigraph by Saul Williams, observing that “the subconscious process of healing…is something like how old schoolers would say you heal from a snake bite..."

    Published by The Poetry Review (Winter 2017)

    Amaan Hyder's At Hajj juxtaposes the repetitive and incantatory nature of the annual pilgrimage to Mecca with brief lyrical interludes which meditate on the complexities of language, family and cultural inheritance...

    Published by Wild Court, King's College London (2017)

    Born and raised in Hong Kong (until I left for university in the US at the age of 19), I understood myself to be a Chinese person living in a British colony. The decolonization of Hong Kong occurred when I was seven-years-old...

  • TeD tALK


    31st March, 2012

    Conference theme: What Makes a Good Society?

  • Appearances


    upcoming events denoted with *




    *24th January: Panelist, Ledbury Emerging Poetry Critics, the University of Birmingham.

    *15th February: Reading, Waterstones (Tottenham Court Road) with the Lodestone Poets, London.

    *21st February: Reading, Chinese New Year Cultural Evening, King's College London.

    *22nd February: Panelist, Poetry & Translation Event, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester.

    *5th March: Facilitator, Creative Writing (Poetry) Workshop, St. John's College, University of Cambridge.

    *7th March: Reading, ignitionpress Pamphlet Launch, The Poetry Cafe, London.

    *8th March: Reading, ignitionpress Pamphlet Launch, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford.

    *25th March: Reading, ignitionpress Pamphlet Launch, The Oxford Literary Festival, St. Cross College, Oxford.

    *23rd April: Talk, Celebration of Adrienne Rich with Poet in the City, Wilton's Music Hall, London.

    *30th June: Panelist, Poetry & Psychoanalysis Conference, The Institute of Psychoanalysis, London.




    Dec: Reading, Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool.

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

    Oct: Reading, Oxford Poetry Library Fundraiser, Oxford.

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

    Sept: Reading, The 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, RAI, University of Oxford.

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

    May: Moderator, Creating China: Creative 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: Reading & Panelist, Poetics of Home Conference, The Institute of English Studies, London.

    Feb: Moderator, Poets: Sarah Howe, Hannah Lowe & Jennifer Wong, Goodenough College, London.

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

  • Contact

    I tweet @maryjean_chan. My agent, Emma Paterson, is available for queries. Thank you for reaching out!