• 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 listed as a 2019 Book of the Year in The Guardian, The Irish Times and The White Review. In 2020, Flèche was shortlisted for multiple literary prizes, including the Dylan Thomas Prize, the John Pollard Foundation International Poetry Prize, the Jhalak Prize and the Seamus Heaney Centre First Collection Poetry Prize.


    Chan came Second in the 2017 National Poetry Competition and won the 2018 Poetry Society Geoffrey Dearmer Prize. She was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem twice and received an Eric Gregory Award in 2019. Chan has written for Guardian Books and Guardian Review, with criticism published in the Journal of American Studies and the Journal of British and Irish Innovative Poetry. A new essay is forthcoming from East Side Voices, to be published by Sceptre in 2022. In Spring 2020, Chan served as guest co-editor of The Poetry Review.


    Born and raised in Hong Kong, Chan lives in London and is Lecturer in Creative Writing (Poetry) at Oxford Brookes University.

  • Winner of the 2019 Costa book Award for Poetry

    Shortlisted for the 2020 Swansea University international Dylan Thomas prize

    Shortlisted for the 2020 Seamus HEaney Centre First Collection Poetry Prize

    Shortlisted for the 2020 John Pollard Foundation International Poetry Prize

    Shortlisted for the 2020 JhaLak Prize


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


    [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

  • Anthologies

    Selected Publications

    Faber & Faber (2017)

    My poem "//" (shortlisted for Best Single Poem) appears here.

    Carcanet Press (2018)

    A selection of my work appears here.

    Boiler House Press (2018)

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

    Bad Betty Press (2018)

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

    Pan Macmillan (2018)

    My poem "Practice" appears here.

    Verve Poetry Press (2018)

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

    Faber & Faber (2018)

    My poem "Truce" appears here.

    Valley Press (2019)

    My poem "Dress" appears here.

    Doubleday UK (2019)

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

    Platypus Press (2019)

    My poem "Song" appears here.

    Michael O' Mara Books/Forward Arts Foundation (2019)

    My poem "what my mother (a poet) might say" appears here.

    Faber & Faber (2019)

    My poem "The Window" (shortlisted for Best Single Poem) appears here.

  • Events




    *Readings from April till October 2020 have been postponed/cancelled due to COVID-19, with some events now taking place online


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

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

    22 Feb: Readings by Caroline Bird & Mary Jean Chan, Verve Poetry Festival, Birmingham Hippodrome

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

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

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

    15 May: Shortlist Readings: The 2019 Jhalak Prize presented by Sunny Singh, Author's Club 2020 Lit Fest

    29 May: Books Are Magic: Mary Jean Chan, Chen Chen, Margaret Rhee, R.A. Villanueva, Arhm Wild & Yanyi

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

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

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

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

    5 July: Event Chair: Ledbury Poetry Festival Online, Readings & Discussion with Cathy Park Hong & Will Harris

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

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

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

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

    5 Aug: Poetry Book Society Book Club: Andrew McMillan, Mary Jean Chan & Alycia Pirmohamed, Instagram Live

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

    24 Aug: Billy-Ray Belcourt & Mary Jean Chan: The New York Times Main Theatre Online, Edinburgh International Book Festival

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

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

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




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

    8 Feb: Faber & Faber at 90, Readings by Richard Scott & Mary Jean Chan, 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 Celebration Readings, Kings Place, London

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

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

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

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

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

    14 June: An Evening of Poetry: Jay Bernard’s Surge & Mary Jean Chan’s Flèche, Greenwich Book Festival, London

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

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

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

    5 July: Launch of Debut Collection Flèche with Sarah Howe & Will Harris, The London Review Bookshop, London

    11 July: Ambit Magazine 60th Anniversary Celebration Readings (Bumper Issue 237), VO Curations, London

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

    17 July: Launch of Flèche in Conversation with Daisy Johnson, Blackwell's Westgate Bookshop, Oxford

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

    3 Aug: The 2018/19 New Poets Prize Winners with Mary Jean Chan, Anthony Burgess Foundation, Manchester

    8 Aug: Talk & Readings, Amelia Abraham & Mary Jean Chan in Conversation, Burley Fisher Books, London

    4 Sept: Guest Reader, Arvon: Towards a Collection with Tom Chivers & Sarah Hesketh, Totleigh Barton

    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: Readings by Luke Kennard & Mary Jean Chan, Milton Keynes Literary Festival, Milton Keynes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    21 Oct: Miriam Allott Visiting Writers: Chen Chen, Jay G Ying & Mary Jean Chan, The University of Liverpool

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

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

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

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

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

  • Media

    Readings and Interviews

    April 2012

    Swarthmore, USA

    March 2018

    Oxford, UK

    January 2020

    London, UK

    June 2020

    York, UK

  • Contact

    Publicity Manager: Kate Burton 



    Literary Agent: Emma Paterson



    Twitter: @maryjean_chan