Wong May

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Wong May is a poet who grew up in Singapore, studied and worked in the United States, and now lives in Ireland. She was born in Chongqing, China in 1944 and moved to Singapore with her mother in 1950. Her mother, Wang Mei-Chuang, was a classical Chinese poet who taught history and Chinese literature. Wong May received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature, from the University of Singapore in 1965. In 1966 she went to the Iowa Writers' Workshop where she received her Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Iowa in 1968.[1]

A first book of poetry, A Bad Girl's Book of Animals, was published by Harcourt, Brace and Jovanovich in 1969.[2][3]

While at MacDowell Colony in 1969, Wong May met Hilda Morley. Stylistically their poetry is closely associated.

Wong May's next book, Reports, published by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, came out in 1972. Her Wannsee Poems, written during a DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) fellowship in Berlin, were translated as Wannsee Gedichte by Nicolas Born.[4]

In 1973, Wong May married Michael Coey, Professor of Physics at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. They have two sons.

In 1978 she published a collection of poetry called Superstitions.

In 2014 "Picasso's Tears", her fourth book of poems including work from 1978-2013, was published by Octopus Books.[5]

Wong May lives in Dublin, where she writes poetry and paints.


  1. ^ Philip Holden; Rajeev S. Patke. “The Routledge Concise History of Southeast Asian Writing in English”. Routledge, 2009, p. 121.
  2. ^ Schomburg, Zachary. "A Bad Girl's Book of Animals by Wong May". Octopus Magazine. Retrieved 8 May 2011. 
  3. ^ Patke, Rajeev S.; Holden, Philip (2010). The Routledge concise history of Southeast Asian writing in English. London: Routledge. p. 121. ISBN 978-0-415-43569-7. 
  4. ^ Joanne Leow. "Dear Mama”. “Prospect”. Brown University, English Department, Spring 2003, np.
  5. ^ May, Wong (2014). Picasso's Tears. Octopus Press. ISBN 978-0-9851182-7-3. , Octopus Press, 2014.