Available in : Vietnamese
Poetry, like so many art forms, has its own way of expressing the inexpressible and exposing human nature. Throughout history, female poets have used their voices to be catalysts for social and political change, and their words are just as important today as they ever have been. There are countless volumes of poetry written by women in Asia and in the world who deserve our praise. Here are some poetesses coming from Hong Kong inspiring us at this moment in time.
Tammy Lai-Ming Ho
Tammy Lai-Ming Ho is the founding co-editor of the first Hong Kong-based international Asia-focused journal, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, an editor of the academic journal Hong Kong Studies, and the first English-language Editor of Voice & Verse Poetry Magazine. She is an Associate Professor at Hong Kong Baptist University, where she teaches poetics, fiction, and modern drama. She is also the President of PEN Hong Kong, a Junior Fellow of the Hong Kong Academy of the Humanities, an advisor to the Leeds Centre for New Chinese Writing, and an Associate Director of One City One Book Hong Kong. Her story “Let Her Go” won the Third Prize in The Standard-RTHK Short Story Competition 2005 and her poetry has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize (four times), the Forward Prize, and Best of the Net Anthology (two times). Tammy’s first collection of poetry was Hula Hooping (Chameleon 2015), for which she won the Young Artist Award in Literary Arts from the Hong Kong Arts Development Council. Her first short story collection Her Name Upon The Strand (Delere Press), her second poetry collection Too Too Too Too (Math Paper Press), and chapbook An Extraterrestrial in Hong Kong (Musical Stone) was published in 2018. Her first academic book Neo-Victorian: Cannibalism (Palgrave, 2019). Tammy has also edited or co-edited several literary volumes having a strong focus on Hong Kong, including Twin Cities: An Anthology of Twin Cinema from Singapore and Hong Kong (Landmark Books, 2017).
To date, her work has been translated into and published in Chinese, Filipino, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latvian, Macedonian, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, and Vietnamese, while her translations of other writers can be found in Chinese Literature Today, Drunken Boat, Pathlight, World Literature Today, among other places, and published by the Chinese University Press. Today Dr. Tammy Lai-Ming Ho and Dr. Jason S Polley are amongst two of the mentors for the After_ program, organized by Zolima City mag and financially support from Design Trust, asking selected young Hongkongers to ‘reflect on the pandemic’s impact in prose, poetry, video, and photography.
Mary Jean Chan
Perhaps the most well-known Hong Kong poet, Mary Jean Chan is a writer, Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing (Poetry) at Oxford Brookes University, and tutors on the MSt in Creative Writing. She was named as one of the most influential BAME writers in Britain. Her poetry book, Flèche, received high praise after it was published, winning the 2019 Costa Book Award for Poetry and the Eric Gregory Award in 2019 after winning the 2018 Geoffrey Dearmer Prize and being shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem in 2017 and 2019. She was also 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, and is a finalist for the 2021 Lambda Literary Awards. Today Chan is also a guest co-editor alongside Will Harris at The Poetry Society Review and is a contributing editor at Oxford Poetry. She will be a Writer-in-Residence at the Nanyang Technological University School of Humanities in Singapore in 2022.
Discover Mary Jean Chan’s poetry on her website
Belle Ling poet’s works have won numerous awards and nominations, from her first poetry collection ‘A Seed and a Plant’ shortlisted for The HKU International Poetry Prize 2010. Her poetry manuscript, Rabbit-Light, was awarded Highly Commended in the 2018 Arts Queensland Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize. Another manuscript of hers, Grass Flower Head, was shortlisted for the First Book Poetry Prize of Puncher and Wattmann in 2018. In 2016, her poem, “That Space,” won second place in the ESL category of the International Poetry Competition organized by the Oxford Brookes University. In 2018, her other poem, “63 Temple Street, Mong Kok,” was a co-winner in the Peter Porter Poetry Prize held by the Australian Book Review. In the same year, she had another poem, “Sorry, Sorry,” awarded a place in the Hong Kong’s Proverse Poetry Prize (single poems) Anthology. Her poems also appeared in World Literature Today, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, Yuan Yang, Meanjin, Overland, Mascara Literary Review, Taj Mahal Review, The Istanbul Review, Foothill: A Journal of Poetry, New Reader Magazine, and more.
If you’re a fan of Hong Kong’s cha chaan tengs, her award-winning poem, “63 Temple Street, Mong Kok” remind the energy, relationships, and food found in the iconic Hong Kong-style cafes.
Available in : Vietnamese