Writers & Migrants

From September 25 @ 7pm

A reading and conversation with

  • Marilyn Chin
  • Mary Jean Chan
  • Jennifer Wong

Moderated by Prof Robert Hampson

What challenges do poets face as migrants? These three poet-migrants from Hong Kong read and discuss their work with Prof Robert Hampson, recollecting their arrivals and their changing views about who they are or who have become.

Marilyn Chin was born in Hong Kong and raised in Portland, Oregon. She received a B.A. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in Chinese literature and an M.F.A. from the University of Iowa.  Her books have become Asian American classics and are taught in classrooms internationally. Her most recent book is A PORTRAIT OF THE SELF AS NATION: NEW AND SELECTED POEMS (W.W. Norton, 2018). Other books include  HARD LOVE PROVINCE, RHAPSODY IN PLAIN YELLOW, DWARF BAMBOO, and THE PHOENIX GONE, THE TERRACE EMPTY, and REVENGE OF THE MOONCAKE VIXEN.   

She has won numerous awards, including the Ruth Lilly Prize for Lifetime Achievement in poetry, the Anisfield Wolf Book Award, the Radcliffe Institute Fellowship at Harvard, the Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship, two NEAs, the Stegner Fellowship, the PEN/Josephine Miles Award and others. In 2017, she was honored by the Asian Pacific Islander Caucus and the California Assembly for her activism and excellence in education.       She is featured in anthologies including The Norton Anthology of Literature by Women and The Norton Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Poetry, The Penguin Anthology of 20th Century Poetry. She has translated poetry by Asian writers, notably Ai Qing and Ho Xuan Huong. Chin is Professor Emerita at San Diego State University and Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.

Mary Jean Chan is the author of Flèche, published by Faber & Faber (2019). Flèche won the 2019 Costa Book Award for Poetry and was shortlisted in 2020 for the International Dylan Thomas Prize, the Jhalak Prize and the Seamus Heaney Centre First Collection Poetry Prize. Chan is Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing (Poetry) at Oxford Brookes University and a supervisor on the MSt in Creative Writing at the University of Oxford. She is a contributing editor at Oxford Poetry and will be a Writer-in-Residence at the Nanyang Technological University School of Humanities in Singapore in 2022.

​​Born and grew up in Hong Kong, Jennifer Wong is the author of several collections including Goldfish (Chameleon Press) and a pamphlet, Diary of a Miu Miu Salesgirl (Bitter Melon Poetry 2019). Her latest collection, 回家 Letters Home (Nine Arches Press 2020)—which explores the complexities of history, migration and translation—has been named the PBS Wild Card Choice by Poetry Book Society. She studied in Oxford and completed a creative writing PhD from Oxford Brookes University. She teaches creative writing at Poetry School and Oxford Brookes. Her poems, reviews and poetry translations have appeared in World Literature Today, Oxford Poetry, The Rialto, Magma Poetry, Poetry Review, Poetry London, PN Review and Asian Review of Books. She worked as the writer-in-residence at Wasafiri in 2020-2021.

Professor Robert Hampson is a Research Fellow at the Institute for English Studies (IES). He was Professor of Modern Literature at Royal Holloway, University of London, from 2000 to 2016. He has published three monographs on Conrad, co-edited two collections of essays, and edited several editions of the author’s work. His current area of research is on Conrad, borders and transnationalism.

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