The Booker Prize 2023
Discover more about this year’s Booker Prize, the winner of which will be announced in the autumn of 2023.
Mary Jean Chan is a judge for the 2023 Booker Prize and is one of British poetry's fastest rising stars.
Flèche, a debut collection ingeniously organised around the sport of fencing, was published by Faber & Faber in 2019 and Faber USA in 2020. It won the Costa Book Award for Poetry and was shortlisted for numerous awards, including the International Dylan Thomas Prize, the John Pollard Foundation International Poetry Prize, the Jhalak Prize, the Seamus Heaney Centre First Collection Poetry Prize and a Lambda Literary Award. In 2018, Chan’s title poem from Flèche won the Geoffrey Dearmer Prize, awarded annually by the Poetry Society. Chan has twice been shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem and received a Society of Authors Eric Gregory Award for a collection by a poet under the age of 30 in 2019. That year, Chan was chosen by Jackie Kay as one of Kay’s ten best BAME writers in Britain.
In 2022, Chan co-edited with Andrew McMillan the landmark Vintage anthology 100 Queer Poems, which was recently selected as a Guardian Best Poetry Book of the Year and shortlisted for the Books Are My Bag Readers Awards. Chan’s poetry, essays and reviews have been featured in or are forthcoming from the New Republic, the New Statesman, the London Review of Books, Granta, the Poetry Review and the White Review, with their reviews appearing regularly in the Guardian. As an early career academic, Chan has written for the Review of English Studies, the Journal of American Studies and the Journal of British and Irish Innovative Poetry.
Born and raised in Hong Kong, Chan currently lives in Oxford and is Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing (Poetry) at Oxford Brookes University while also serving as a supervisor on the MSt in Creative Writing at the University of Oxford. In 2022, Chan was a Visiting Writer at the NTU Asia Creative Writing Programme in Singapore. Chan is a Rathbones Folio Prize Academy member, having judged the 2019 and 2020 Stephen Spender Prize for Poetry in Translation, the 2022 Jhalak Prize and the 2022 Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize. Chan’s second book, Bright Fear, is forthcoming from Faber in August 2023.