Hong Kong echoes across English ghost lands: a decolonizing of English-language poetry

Gregory B. Lee*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

This article focuses on three women poets who deploy a Hong Kong Chinese imaginary, an imaginarium filled with memories, popular cultural references, fragments of Cantonese, and isolated Chinese characters. Jennifer Lee Tsai was born in the UK of Hong Kong immigrant parents, while Jennifer Wong migrated from Hong Kong to the UK first to study and then to write poetry. Tim Tim Cheng similarly migrated to the UK to study, having grown up in Hong Kong. Their English-language poems are peppered with Cantonese images and linguistic elements that challenge the reader to address the postcolonial condition of the poetry. Written in English in the UK, their poetry represents a poïesis of the local and the personal. While articulating a local everydayness, their work seeks out from afar and from the past, in the migrant in-betweenness of Chinese–British borderlands, poetic resolutions to the binds of their postcolonial subjecthood.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)768-783
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Postcolonial Writing
Volume59
Issue number6
Early online date11 Dec 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 Dec 2023

Keywords

  • Hong Kong
  • Poetry
  • Chinese British
  • Cantonese
  • Postcolonial
  • Decoloniality
  • Tim Tim Cheng
  • Jennifer Lee Tsai
  • Jennifer Wong

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