Join four writers who use China as the creative inspiration for their writing process and explore how they teleport readers through their re-imagining of the country, its culture and people. The panel will welcome:
Susan Barker studied philosophy at the University of Leeds and creative writing at the University of Manchester. She is the author of the novels Sayonara Bar (2005) and The Orientalist and the Ghost (2008) and longlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize. Her third novel The Incarnations (Doubleday, July 2014) is about a taxi driver in contemporary Beijing and interwoven with tales from the Tang Dynasty, the invasion of Genghis Khan, the Ming Dynasty, the Opium War, and the Cultural Revolution. While writing The Incarnations she spent several years living in Beijing, researching modern and imperial China. She has received grants from the Arts Council England and the Society of Authors, and has been an artist in resident at the Corporation of Yaddo, Hawthornden International Writers' Retreat and the Red Gate Gallery in Beijing. In 2010- 2012 she was a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Leeds Trinity University.
Born and grew up in HK, Jennifer Wong is the author of two collections including Goldfish (Chameleon Press), a narrative of childhood memories, myths and superstitious beliefs. She has received the Young Artist award (literary arts) from the Hong Kong Arts Development Council in 2014. Her work has appeared in The Rialto, Oxford Poetry, Poetry Review (upcoming translation), Stand (upcoming), Asian Cha and others. She has an MA in creative writing from the University of East Anglia and is completing her poetry PhD in Oxford Brookes University, where she teaches creative writing as Associate Lecturer. She has led creative writing workshops in UK and other places.Playwright Amy Ng trained on the Royal Court Theatre's Critical Mass Programme and the British East Asian Writers' group supported by The Young Vic. Staged readings include Acceptance as part of Vibrant 2015 – A Festival of Finborough Playwrights. Short plays include Special Occasions (St. James Theatre and Arcola Theatre) and A Little Night Music (Bread and Roses Theatre and The Space). Prelude to a Feast won the Oxford University Film Foundation competition for Best Short Screenplay. Amy is also a historian with a research interest in multinational empires, imperial decline, and nationality conflict, and the author of Nationalism and Political Liberty (Oxford University Press).
Yeo Wei Wei's debut collection of short stories These Foolish Things & Other Stories was published in October 2015. A review in The Straits Times praised the "elegantly constructed prose" of "her stories which are nothing short of relatable, if not for their very Singaporean nature, then for their universal themes". The book was also chosen by Cyril Wong and Jeremy Tiang as their Book of 2015 in singaporepoetry.com. Yeo was a lecturer in the English department at National University of Singapore from 2000 to 2007. After that she was head of English at School of the Arts (SOTA). Between 2010 and 2014 she was Deputy Director of International Programmes, Publications and Resource Centre at National Gallery Singapore. She was the NTU-NAC Writer-in-Residence (National) for 2015. Yeo's other publications include essays on art and poetry, a children's picture book and translations of Chinese poetry. She is currently working on a novel.
Mary Jean Chan was placed Third in the 2016 Bare Fiction Prize for Poetry, and has been shortlisted for the 2016 London Magazine Poetry Prize, the 2016 Rialto Open Pamphlet Competition, and the 2016 Resurgence Eco-Poetry Prize. Mary Jean won the 2016 Oxford Brookes International Poetry Competition in the ESL category for her poem "Wet Nurse". Her work has been published in The Poetry Review, Bare Fiction Magazine, The London Magazine, Ambit Magazine, The Rialto, and elsewhere. As a co-editor of Oxford Poetry, Mary Jean is pursuing her PhD in Creative Writing at Royal Holloway, University of London. Her poem "Chopsticks" was nominated by Ambit Magazine for the 2017 Forward Prize for Best Single Poem.
The event is part of China in Context.