Join us for a reading by Mary Jean Chan for their keenly anticipated new collection which speaks 'out of fear and grief into splendour and joy.'
Following their award-winning debut, _Flèche_ (2019), comes Mary Jean Chan’s gleaming second collection: _Bright Fear. _Through poems which engage fearlessly with intertwined themes of identity, multilingualism and postcolonial legacy, Chan’s latest work explores a family’s evolving dynamics, as well as microaggressions stemming from queerphobia and anti-Asian racism that accompanied the Covid pandemic.
Yet _Bright Fear_ remains deeply attuned to moments of beauty, tenderness and grace. It asks how we might find a home within our own bodies, in places both distant and near, and in the ‘constructed space’ of the poem. The contemplative central sequence, _Ars Poetica_, traces the radically healing and transformative role of poetry during the poet’s teenage and adult years, culminating in a polyphonic reconciliation of tongues. Throughout, Chan offers us new and galvanising ways to ‘withstand the quotidian tug- / of-war between terror and love’.
Mary Jean Chan is the author of Fleche (Faber, 2019), which won the 2019 Costa Book Award for Poetry and was shortlisted in 2020 for the International Dylan Thomas Prize, the John Pollard Foundation International Poetry Prize, the Jhalak Prize and the Seamus Heaney Centre First Collection Poetry Prize. In 2021, Fleche was a Lambda Literary Award Finalist. 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. Chan was guest co-editor with Will Harris at The Poetry Review in Spring 2020, and recently co-edited 100 Queer Poems (Vintage, 2022) with Andrew McMillan. They were a Visiting Writer at the Nanyang Technological University Asia Creative Writing Programme in Singapore for Summer 2022. Chan currently serves as Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing (Poetry) at Oxford Brookes University. Born and raised in Hong Kong, Chan lives in Oxford.
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