• 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 April 2023. Chan's second poetry collection, Bright Fear, is forthcoming from Faber in August 2023.


    Chan won the 2018 Poetry Society 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's reviews appear 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 2022 Visiting Writer at the 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 currently a judge for the 2023 Booker Prize. Born and raised in Hong Kong, Chan lives in Oxford.

  • Winner of the Costa Poetry Award

    A Poetry Book Society Recommendation




    [E]xtraordinary, brilliant and searingly honest...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

  • Bright Fear

    forthcoming on 3 August 2023

  • Events

    *some events are hybrid/may take place 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, 2023 AWP Conference, Seattle, US

    14 Apr: Reading, Mary Jean Chan with Giorgia Sensi, Ritratti di Poesia, Rome, Italy

    *24 Apr: Masterclass, Writing a Poetry Collection, Writers & Artists, Bloomsbury UK

    *27 Apr: Launch, Where Else: An International HK Poetry Anthology, Oxford Brookes

    12 May: Reading with Kim Moore & Clare Shaw, The 2023 Newcastle Poetry Festival

    13 May: Talk, 100 Queer Poems with Bill Herbert, The 2023 Newcastle Poetry Festival

    22 May: Reading with Michael Symmons Roberts, Harris Manchester College, Oxford





    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

  • Media

    Readings and Interviews

    January 2020

    Faber & Faber, London

    August 2020

    The Edinburgh International Book Festival

  • Contact

    Agent: Emma Paterson



    Publicity: Kate Burton