Mary Jean Chan

Mary Jean Chan (b. 1990, Hong Kong) is a Ledbury Poetry Critic, editor of Oxford Poetry, and a Lecturer in Creative Writing at Oxford Brookes University. The ‘window’ of her poem’s title represents, among other things, a threshold: the speaker ‘struggles with facets of their identity (i.e. queerness) but chooses to survive, and the window crystallises precisely what it is that the living do — that they choose love, reconciliation, and the stubborn — often painfully complex — realities of living.’

In 2017, Mary Jean Chan was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem, becoming the youngest shortlistee in the prize’s history. Her first collection, Fl├Ęche, is forthcoming from Faber (2019).

Forward Prizes History:

  • 2019 Forward Prizes for Best Single Poem, shortlisted for ‘The Window’ (National Poetry Competition by the Poetry Society)
  • 2017 Forward Prizes for Best Single Poem, shortlisted for ‘//’ (Ambit)