• About


    Mary Jean Chan (b. 1990) is the author of Flèche, published by Faber & Faber (2019). Flèche won the 2019 Costa Book Award for Poetry and was a Book of the Year in The Guardian, The Irish Times and The White Review. In 2020, Flèche was shortlisted for the International Dylan Thomas Prize, the John Pollard Foundation International Poetry Prize, the Jhalak Prize and the Seamus Heaney Centre First Collection Poetry Prize.


    Chan's poetry has featured in The Guardian, The New Statesman, The Telegraph, The White Review, and The Poetry Review. She came Second in the 2017 National Poetry Competition and won the 2018 Geoffrey Dearmer Prize. She was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem in 2017 and 2019, and received an Eric Gregory Award in 2019. Her reviews have appeared in The Guardian, The Stinging Fly and Poetry London, with criticism published in The Journal of American Studies and The Journal of British and Irish Innovative Poetry. In Spring 2020, Chan served as guest co-editor with Will Harris at The Poetry Review.


    Chan has given workshops and seminars at the Southbank Centre, the Poetry School, the Anthony Burgess Foundation, University of London, Royal Holloway, the UCL Writing Lab, the UCL Bartlett School of Architecture and the Faculty of English at the University of Cambridge. Born and raised in Hong Kong, Chan is Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing (Poetry) at Oxford Brookes University and lives in London.

  • Winner of the Costa book Award for Poetry

    A Poetry Book Society Recommendation




    Flèche is an extraordinary, brilliant and searing collection...beautifully governed by formal rigour and literary excellence. – The Poetry Review


    [Chan] is one of those rare poets who leave you looking up with a sense that you can engage even the smallest part of the world around you with a much greater intensity. –​ PN Review


    Chan has picked a perfect title, one that is as expansive and evocative as the poems that it encompasses. –​ The Hong Kong Review of Books


    As [a] governing metaphor and organising principle...the sport [of fencing] provides enlivening strategies for the poetic realisation of loss and rebellion. –​ The Guardian

  • Events




    *The following events will be taking place online


    16 Feb: Reading by Mary Jean Chan, Literature, Film and Theatre Research Seminar, University of Essex

    18 Feb: Reading and Q&A (with multiple poets), Centre for Poetry and Poetics, University of Sheffield

    27 Feb: Society and Self, Main Reading with Mary Jean Chan and Karen Solie, Kendal Poetry Festival

    5 Mar: Poetry Reading and Q&A by Mary Jean Chan, Cambridge Union, University of Cambridge

    8 Mar: Poetry Reading and Q&A by Mary Jean Chan, Homerton College, University of Cambridge

    20 Mar: Reading and Q&A by Mary Jean Chan, The MSt in Creative Writing, University of Oxford

    8 Apr: Reading and Q&A by Mary Jean Chan, Department of English Literature, Swarthmore College




    28 Jan: The 2019 Costa Book of the Year & The Costa Book Awards Ceremony, Quaglino's, London

    10 Feb: Chair, Anthony Anaxagorou, Will Harris & Nisha Ramayya, Think Human Festival, Oxford

    22 Feb: Caroline Bird, Mary Jean Chan & Jay Bernard, The Verve Poetry Festival, Birmingham

    9 Mar: Launch: Jennifer Wong with Nina Powles & Mary Jean Chan, The Poetry Cafe, London

    8 May: Instagram Live: Readings & Q&A with Kenny Leck, BooksActually Bookshop, Singapore

    14 May: Shortlist Readings: The 2020 Swansea University Dylan Thomas Prize Awards Ceremony

    15 May: Shortlist Readings: The 2019 Jhalak Prize presented by Sunny Singh, Author's Club Lit Fest

    29 May: Books Are Magic: Mary Jean Chan, Chen Chen, Margaret Rhee, Arhm Choi Wild & Yanyi

    7 June: Words & Swords: Vahni Capildeo, Mary Jean Chan & Student Readings, York Festival of Ideas

    19 June: Online Masterclass: Poetry Editing with Mary Jean Chan, The Scottish BAME Writers Network

    28 June: Chair: Moving House by Theophilus Kwek, Carcanet Collection Launch Reading & Discussion

    2 July: Virtual Award Readings & Announcement: The 2020 Seamus Heaney First Collection Ceremony

    5 July: Chair: Ledbury Poetry Festival Online, Readings and Q&A with Cathy Park Hong & Will Harris

    9 July: UCL Take Flight Hub in Conversation with Mary Jean Chan: Sustaining Your Career as a Poet

    14 July: Mary Jean Chan, Yomi Sode & Ioney Smallhorne, The National Literacy Trust Instagram Live

    16 July: HSS Research Series: A Poetry Reading & Reflections in the Wake of COVID, Oxford Brookes

    29 July: Guest Reader, Queer Poetry Week with Richard Scott, Caroline Bird & Mary Jean Chan, Arvon

    5 Aug: Poetry Book Society Book Club: Andrew McMillan with Mary Jean Chan & Alycia Pirmohamed

    21 Aug: Guest Reader, August Book of the Month: Flèche, LGBTQ Online Book Group, Gay's the Word

    24 Aug: Poetry: Billy-Ray Belcourt & Mary Jean Chan: The 2020 Edinburgh International Book Festival

    19 Sept: The HK Shuffle: Mary Jean Chan, Kit Fan, Jason Lee, Nicholas Wong, Jennifer Wong & others

    1 Oct: National Poetry Day Online Poetry Reading & Talk, Queen Anne's School, Caversham, Reading

    3 Oct: What We Read Now Online Poetry Series: Zeina Hashem Beck, Mary Jean Chan & Nina Powles

    11 Oct: Queerness as Translation: A Poetry Reading with Rainbow Writes (funded by FRIDA), Malaysia

    7 Nov: Spoke and Bird, A Poetry Open Mic Event with Mary Jean Chan & Khairani Barokka, Singapore

    11 Nov: Poetry Reading & Q&A with Mary Jean Chan, Literary Society, St Paul's Girls' School, London

    15 Nov: Marilyn Chin, Ross Gay, Srikanth Reddy & Mary Jean Chan, HK International Literary Festival

    20 Nov: Poetry Reading and Q&A (Bilingual) with Mary Jean Chan, Queer Reads Library, Hong Kong

    28 Nov: Jane Clarke, Ranjit Hoskote & Mary Jean Chan, Ó Bhéal Winter Warmer Poetry Festival, Cork




    22 Jan: 20th Century & Contemporary Literature Graduate Seminar, Faculty of English, Cambridge

    8 Feb: Faber & Faber at 90, Richard Scott & Mary Jean Chan, The National Portrait Gallery, London

    22 Feb: 40 Years of Gay's the Word Bookshop, A Literary Celebration, The British Library, London

    8 Mar: Mary Jean Chan & Nadine Aisha Jassat , StAnza International Poetry Festival, St Andrews

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

    25 Mar: The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Poetry, The House of Lords, Westminster, London

    25 Apr: AWPI Keynote Reading by Mary Jean Chan, Humanities Institute, University College Dublin

    26 Apr: AWPI Plenary: the PhD in Creative Writing, Humanities Institute, University College Dublin

    3 May: Keats Bicentenary: Rachael Allen, Mary Jean Chan & Isabel Galleymore, Keats House, London

    12 June: Sarah Howe, Mary Jean Chan, Jennifer Wong with Dorothy Wang, The Poetry Cafe, London

    14 June: Readings: Jay Bernard’s Surge & Mary Jean Chan’s Flèche, Greenwich Book Festival, London

    15 June: Roundtable: Canons and Values in Contemporary Literary Studies, University of Southampton

    26 June: National Poetry Library Lates: Mary Jean Chan & Keith Jarrett, Hayward Gallery Cafe, London

    3 July: The Poetry Review Launch: Ilya Kaminsky, Suji Kwock Kim & Mary Jean Chan, The Poetry Cafe

    5 July: Launch of Mary Jean Chan's Flèche with Sarah Howe & Will Harris, London Review Bookshop

    11 July: Ambit Magazine 60th Anniversary Issue Launch & Readings, VO Curations, London

    12 July: Readings by Jay Bernard and Mary Jean Chan, Gay's the Word Bookshop, London

    17 July: Launch of Mary Jean Chan's Flèche with Daisy Johnson, Blackwell's Westgate, Oxford

    24 July: Fiona Benson & Mary Jean Chan, The John Hewitt International Summer School, Armagh

    3 Aug: New Poets Prize Winners with Mary Jean Chan, Anthony Burgess Foundation, Manchester

    8 Aug: Amelia Abraham & Mary Jean Chan: Readings and Q&A, Burley Fisher Books, London

    4 Sept: Guest Reader, Tom Chivers, Sarah Hesketh & Mary Jean Chan, Totleigh Barton, Arvon

    11 Sept: Behind the Mask, Another Mask: A Corrupted Poetry Series Event, October Gallery, London

    13 Sept: Guest Reader, Launch of After the Formalities by Anthony Anaxagorou, Rich Mix, London

    21 Sept: Luke Kennard & Mary Jean Chan, The Milton Keynes Literary Festival, Milton Keynes

    24 Sept: Mona Arshi, Jacqueline Saphra & Mary Jean Chan, Waterstones at Gower Street, London

    1 Oct: The Faber & Faber 90th Anniversary Readings: A Celebration, Bloomsbury Theatre, London

    3 Oct: Mary Jean Chan & Anthony Anaxagorou: National Poetry Day, Blackwell's Bookshop, Oxford

    11 Oct: Anthony Anaxagorou’s Debut Poetry Showcase, Cheltenham Literature Festival, Cheltenham

    11 Oct: Role of the Poetry Critic: Sandeep Parmar, Jeremy Noel-Tod & Mary Jean Chan, Cheltenham

    14 Oct: Readings by Mary Jean Chan & Will Harris, Café Writers, The Louis Marchesi, Norwich

    20 Oct: The 2019 Forward Prizes Awards Ceremony, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank, London

    21 Oct: Poetry Readings by Chen Chen, Jay G Ying & Mary Jean Chan, University of Liverpool

    28 Oct: A. K. Blakemore, Mary Jean Chan & Rebecca Perry, The Coronet Theatre Bar, London

    17 Nov: Hannah Sullivan & Mary Jean Chan, Woodstock Poetry Festival, Woodstock Town Hall

    18 Nov: Guest Reader, Advanced Poetry Workshop with Kathryn Maris, The Poetry School, London

    28 Nov: Emily Berry, Wayne Holloway-Smith, Mary Jean Chan & Rebecca Tamás, The London Library

    11 Dec: Poetry Reading with Q&A, English and Modern Languages Research Seminars, Oxford Brookes

  • Media

    Readings & Interviews

    April 2012

    Swarthmore, USA

    January 2020

    London, UK

    August 2020

    Edinburgh, UK

  • Contact

    Publicity: Kate Burton 



    Agent: Emma Paterson



    Twitter: @maryjean_chan