• About


    Mary Jean Chan is a poet, editor and academic 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, English: Journal of the English Association. Her debut pamphlet will be published by ignitionpress in 2018, with newer work forthcoming from Poetry London, Wasafiri and Carcanet New Poetries VII.


    A recent graduate of Swarthmore College and the University of Oxford, 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, and is currently a PhD candidate in Creative Writing and Research Associate in Poetics at Royal Holloway, University of London. In 2017, she was chosen as one of the UK's Ledbury Emerging Poetry Critics.


    Mary Jean was 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 an editor at Oxford Poetry.

  • Selected Poems

    Online Publications


    "what my mother (a poet) might say", The Poetry Review


    "How It Must Be Said", English: Journal of the English Association


    "inheritance", "speaking in tongues", Tongue: A Journal

    of Writing & Art


    "They Would Have All That",

    The London Magazine


    "Hybridity", Asian American Writers' Workshop

  • Academic Articles

    The Journal of American Studies (May 2017)

  • Reviews

    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..."

    Reviews forthcoming

    from The Poetry Review, Poetry London and PN Review

  • Readings

    Invited Events for 2017

    upcoming events denoted with *


    *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, 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, 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, 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.

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

  • Performances


    31st March, 2012

    Conference theme: What Makes a Good Society?

    Watching Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's TED talk, "The Danger of a Single Story", was a powerful reminder that ideas about what constitutes a "good" society can only emerge from the tapestry of narratives that we weave everyday of our lives. In this TEDx talk, I use poetry to explore the importance of genuine discourse in furthering our attempts at building a better society. I was selected to join the conference in March 2012 after winning the TEDxSwarthmore Student Challenge.

  • Contact

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