Wong May (b. 1944)
Wong May (b. Chungking, China) arrived in Singapore with her mother and siblings during the second half of the 1940s. She attended St Nicholas’ Chinese Girls’ School, receiving both her primary and secondary education there.
Wong left Singapore in 1966 to pursue an MFA at the University of Iowa, participating in the university’s long established Writer’s Programme. She went on to spend time at the MacDowell writers’ colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire in 1968, before leaving the US in 1970 to become a visiting writer at the Literarisches Colloquium, Berlin. By late 1971, Wong was living in Grenoble, teaching Chinese. She married the Irish physicist and postgraduate fellow at Trinity College Michael Coey, there in 1973. By 1978 she, Coey, and their first son moved to Dublin, where she remains to this day.
Wong’s poetry collections include A Bad Girl’s Book of Animals (1969), Reports (1972), Wannsee-Gedichte (in German, trans. Nicholas Born, 1975), and Superstitions (1978). In 2014, US poet and manager of Octopus Books Zachary Schomberg prompted publication of a fourth book, Picasso’s Tears, collecting more than thirty years of Wong’s work.
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