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Launch of ‘Letters Home’ by Jennifer Wong

Monday 9 March 2020, 7:00 pm9:30 pm

Join Jennifer Wong, Mary Jean Chan and Nina Mingya Powles at the Poetry Cafe for the launch of Jennifer’s new collection of poems Letters Home.

Letters Home, Jennifer’s remarkable and vivid third collection, unravels the complexities of being between nations, languages and cultures. Travelling across multiple borders of history and place, these poems examine what it means to be returning home, and whether it is a return to a location, a country or to a shared dream or language. Jennifer Wong has an instinct for intricate, multifaceted poems which, like love-letters from the past to the present, draw the reader into a tender confidence, at once revealing and particular. From the story of an ice-lantern, a derelict village school in Guizhou to the graffiti and tear gas in Hong Kong’s streets, these poems reveal postcards of memories etched into skin, the fragments of different cultural, historical and linguistic worlds.

Mary Jean Chan is a London-based poet from Hong Kong whose first book Flèche (Faber & Faber) won the 2019 Costa Book Award for Poetry. She has been shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem twice, and recently received an Eric Gregory Award in 2019. She won the 2018 Poetry Society Geoffrey Dearmer Prize for her collection’s title poem ‘Flèche’. She is a Lecturer in Creative Writing (Poetry) at Oxford Brookes University.

Nina Mingya Powles is a poet and zinemaker from New Zealand, of mixed Malaysian-Chinese heritage. She is the author of Tiny Moons, a food diary published by The Emma Press, and several poetry pamphlets. Her next poetry collection Magnolia, 木蘭 will be published by Nine Arches Press in July 2020. She is the founding editor of the small press Bitter Melon, and is currently working on a book of lyric essays.

Jennifer Wong was born and grew up in Hong Kong, and is the author of two poetry collections including Goldfish (Chameleon Press 2013). She studied English at Oxford and received an MA in creative writing at UEA and a PhD from Oxford Brookes University. Her work, including poems, reviews and translations, have appeared in journals including The Rialto, Poetry London, Poetry Review, Stand, North and others. Her works have won the runner-up prize at the Bi’an Writers Awards and have been long-listed in pamphlet competitions and National Poetry.

Suitable for all ages.

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