• About


    Mary Jean Chan is the author of Flèche, published by Faber & Faber (2019) and Faber USA (2020). Flèche won the Costa Book Award for Poetry, and was shortlisted for the International Dylan Thomas Prize, the John Pollard Foundation International Poetry Prize, the Jhalak Prize, the Seamus Heaney Centre First Collection Poetry Prize and a Lambda Literary Award. An Italian translation of Flèche by Giorgia Sensi is forthcoming from Interno Poesia in 2023. Chan's second collection, Bright Fear, is forthcoming from Faber in August 2023.


    Chan won the 2018 Geoffrey Dearmer Prize and was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem in 2017 and 2019, receiving an Eric Gregory Award in 2019. Their poetry has been featured in or is forthcoming from The New Republic, The New Statesman, Granta, The Poetry Review and The London Review of Books. Chan has written for The Review of English Studies, The Journal of American Studies and The Journal of British and Irish Innovative Poetry, with their reviews appearing regularly in The Guardian. Chan was guest co-editor with Will Harris at The Poetry Review in Spring 2020, and co-edited the anthology 100 Queer Poems (Vintage, 2022) with Andrew McMillan.


    A recent Visiting Writer at the NTU Asia Creative Writing Programme in Singapore, Chan serves as a tenured Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing (Poetry) at Oxford Brookes University and tutors on the MSt in Creative Writing at the University of Oxford. Chan is a judge for the 2023 Booker Prize, and will be a Hawthornden Fellow at Lake Como's Casa Ecco in Italy for Summer 2023. Born and raised in Hong Kong, Chan lives in Oxford.

  • Winner of the Costa book Award for Poetry

    A Poetry Book Society Recommendation




    [An] extraordinary, brilliant and searingly honest 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



    some events will be held online


    19 Feb: Moderator, 100 Queer Poems Panel, The Verve Poetry Festival, Birmingham

    21 Feb: Reading, Meet the World Poetry Panel, National Centre for Writing, UEA

    24 Feb: Talk, Mary Jean Chan, English and Comparative Literary Studies, Warwick

    1 Mar: Reading, After Sylvia: Poets on Plath, The National Poetry Library, London

    9 Mar: Reading, Mary Jean Chan, Keith Jarrett & Faryal Velmi, Reading University

    11 Mar: Reading, Poets of Chinese Heritage Panel, 2023 AWP Conference, Seattle

    14 Apr: Reading and launch of Italian translation of Flèche, Ritratti di Poesia, Rome

    5 May: Reading, 100 Queer Poems Panel, The Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts

    22 May: Mary Jean Chan & Michael Symmons Roberts, Harris Manchester College





    18 Jan: Reading, Dún Laoghaire Lexicon Library & Cultural Centre

    3 Feb: Reading, English and Creative Writing, Lancaster University

    21 Mar: Reading, Poetry As/And Criticism, Maynooth University

    26 Mar: Reading and Q&A, The MSt in Creative Writing, Oxford

    5 Apr: Reading, The 2022 Think Human Festival, Oxford Brookes

    12 Apr: Moderator, Diana Bellessi with Leo Boix, Oxford Brookes

    21 Apr: Reading, Sylvia Legris & Mary Jean Chan, Granta Books

    17 May: Reading, Kayo Chingonyi & Mary Jean Chan, Birkbeck

    19 May: Reading, Theo Kwek & Mary Jean Chan, Kellogg College

    26 May: Judge, Jhalak Prize Awards Ceremony, The British Library

    4 June: Reading, Pride Month Panel, Blackwell's Bookshop, Oxford

    9 June: Reading, Oxford Review of Books June Issue Launch, Oxford

    11 June: Reading, Poetry Showcase, The Welshpool Poetry Festival

    12 Aug: Reading, We'll Tell You Everything Panel, Sing Lit Station

    21 Aug: Reading, Asia Creative Writing Programme Poetry Showcase

    22 Sept: Reading, East Side Voices, Daunt Books, Summertown, Oxford

    27 Sept: Moderator, 100 Queer Poems Panel, Topping & Company, Bath

    4 Oct: Reading, Abingdon Literary Society, Abingdon School, Abingdon

    8 Oct: Reading, 100 Queer Poems Panel, Coast is Queer Literature Festival

    19 Oct: Judge, The Wasafiri New Writing Prize Awards Ceremony, London

    8 Nov: The Books Are My Bag Readers Awards, Foyles Bookshop, London

    11 Nov: Moderator, 100 Queer Poems Panel, Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre

    19 Nov: Reading, Oxford University Poetry Society, Worcester College

    25 Nov: Reading, Oxford High School, Girls' Day School Trust, Oxford





    16 Feb: Literature, Film & Theatre Seminars, University of Essex

    17 Feb: The Centre for Poetry & Poetics, University of Sheffield

    18 Feb: Foyle Young Poets Showcase, Poetry Society, London

    23 Feb: LGBTQ History Month, Putney High School, London

    27 Feb: Mary Jean Chan & Karen Solie, Kendal Poetry Festival

    5 Mar: Talk, The Cambridge Union, University of Cambridge

    8 Mar: Reading, Homerton College, University of Cambridge

    20 Mar: Reading, MSt Creative Writing, University of Oxford

    8 Apr: Reading & Poetry Prize Ceremony, Swarthmore College

    10 Apr: Celebration of Nathalie Anderson, Swarthmore College

    16 Apr: Desert Island Poems, The Seren Cardiff Poetry Festival

    22 Apr: Natalie Diaz with Mary Jean Chan, Manchester Lit Fest

    29 Apr: Oxplore Book Club (Live Poetry), University of Oxford

    6 May: The Herbert Society, Jesus College, University of Oxford

    21 May: The Creative Industries Festival, Oxford Brookes University

    1 June: The 33rd Lambda Annual Literary Awards, A Virtual Ceremony

    13 June: Mary Jean Chan & Will Harris, Ledbury Emerging Poetry Critics

    29 June: Professionalising Your Poetry, The Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre

    16 Sept: Reading and Q&A with Mary Jean Chan, University of Hong Kong

    25 Sept: Writers and Migrants, Poetics of Home, A Chinese Diaspora Festival

    3 Oct: Language, Home and Self, Poetics of Home, A Chinese Diaspora Festival

    10 Oct: Mary Jean Chan, Andrew McMillan & Paul Mendez, Cheltenham Lit Fest

    20 Oct: Reading by Mary Jean Chan, Inventions of the Text, Durham University

    22 Oct: Kazim Ali, Mary Jean Chan & Cole Swenson, The Big Poetry Weekend

    28 Oct: Reading and Q&A, Mary Jean Chan, Meiji University, Tokyo, Japan

    5 Nov: Reading and Q&A, Mary Jean Chan, Oxford High School, Oxford

    10 Nov: Mary Jean Chan, Yousif Qasmiyeh & Ruth Padel, ORB, Oxford

    6 Dec: Reading and Q&A, Mary Jean Chan, The University of Liverpool




    28 Jan: The Costa Book Awards Ceremony, Quaglino's, London

    10 Feb: The Think Human Festival, Oxford Brookes University

    22 Feb: The Verve Poetry Festival, Birmingham Hippodrome

    9 Mar: Letters Home by Jennifer Wong, Poetry Cafe, London

    14 May: International Dylan Thomas Awards Ceremony

    15 May: Jhalak Prize, The Author's Club Online Lit Fest

    29 May: Books Are Magic Readings, New York, USA

    7 June: Words and Swords, The York Festival of Ideas

    19 June: Masterclass, Scottish BAME Writers Network

    28 June: Moving House by Theophilus Kwek, Carcanet Press

    2 July: Seamus Heaney Centre First Collection Awards Ceremony

    5 July: Ledbury Poetry Festival: Cathy Park Hong and Will Harris

    9 July: UCL Take Flight Hub, Sustaining Your Career as a Poet

    14 July: The National Literacy Trust Readings, Instagram Live

    16 July: HSS Research Series, Oxford Brookes University

    29 July: Queer Poetry Writing Week, Arvon at Home

    5 Aug: The Poetry Book Society Virtual Book Club

    24 Aug: The Edinburgh International Book Festival

    19 Sept: The Hong Kong Shuffle Online Readings

    1 Oct: National Poetry Day, Queen Anne's School

    3 Oct: What We Read Now: An Online Poetry Series

    11 Oct: Rainbow Writes: funded by FRIDA, Malaysia

    7 Nov: Spoke and Bird, A Poetry Open Mic, Singapore

    11 Nov: Literary Society, St Paul's Girls' School, London

    15 Nov: The Hong Kong International Literary Festival

    20 Nov: Queer Reads Library (Bilingual), Hong Kong

    28 Nov: Ó Bhéal Winter Warmer Poetry Festival, Cork

  • Media

    Readings and Interviews

    January 2020

    Faber & Faber

    August 2020

    The Edinburgh International Book Festival

  • Contact

    Agent: Emma Paterson



    Publicity: Kate Burton