Anna Chen's Poetry

Anna Chen's new website is LIVE!

Chinese British poet Anna Chen

Poetry page at new website

Anna Chen's latest poetry collection, Chi Chi's Glorious Swansong, was published 2021 by Aaaargh! Press.
‘This marvellous collection builds like a symphony, from its opening dances through the surf of language and ideas to the breath-taking cross-channel swim of “Tinderbox plc”. Assured, funny, angry, exhilarating … Chi Chi’s Glorious Swansong demands to be read; demands to be listened to. A triumph.’
ALAN MOORE (creator of Watchmen, V for Vendetta, Jerusalem, Batman: The Killing Joke, Promethea.)

More of Anna's poetry videos at YouTube.

Saturday 13th May 2017: I'm a Special Guest at the China In Context storytelling night for China Exchange where I will read a short story and poetry. Details to come.

The Bookworm Literary Festival of China invited me over to read my poetry and give talks on various topics including the Chinese diaspora in March 2015. I gave my illustrated talk, Anna May Wong Must Die! at Chengdu, Ningbo, Suchow and Beijng for the festival and had a wonderful time. Interview with Beijing Radio Studio Plus here.

I'm doing half an hour at 'Dislocating Asia' as part of the Camden Migration Festival 2014. An evening of talks, performance, comedy, poetry and music inspired or shaped by migrations from East Asia with Diana Yeh, Daniel York, Jennifer Lim, Anna Chen, Liz Chi Yen Liew, Dennis Kwong Thye Lee and Lucky Cat (Zoe Baxter)...Thursday 2 October 2014, 7pm at Forge Music and Arts Venue, London.
Find out more information here.

I'll be giving a talk and reading poetry in Liverpool on Wednesday 18th June 2014 for their China Day. More details here.

Looking forward to performing poetry at the Campaign against Climate Change cabaret 6-11pm, Sat 31 May at the old Amnesty HQ, 25 New Inn Yard, London EC2A 3EA. £10

Wednesday 21st May 4pm, another China Diaspora in Britain talk for USC students in Bloomsbury.

Saturday 26 April 2014. Anna reads poetry at the YW8 Club launch at The Proud Archivist, 2-10 Hertford Rd, N1 5ET Show starts 8.30pm. Free entry.

In January 2014, Anna wins the Farrago Poetry Slam Zoo Award for Best London performance.

Anna Chen wins Farrago Poetry Slam Zoo Award Best London Performance

Video above: Chinese New Year at the Oxbridge Club, London W1. A private fundraiser for animal welfare, Wednesday 29th January 2014.

Margaret Thatcher Died at the Ritz

From Tuesday 15th October 2013 Anna presents, Madam Miaow Says, a new season of radio programmes for Resonance 104.4FM. It launches with "Oh Other, where art thou?" looking at yellowface, black face and ethnic minority representation in UK culture. Anna's poetry may feature.

5th October 2013, 4.30-6.30pm. Anna reads poetry for the British East Asian Artists pre-show event at the Oval House Theatre prior to The Fu Manchu Complex by Daniel York.

Madam Miaow's Culture Lounge returns to the St Ives Arts Club for the St Ives Arts Festival, 7pm Saturday 14th September 2013. With Charles Shaar Murray and Marc Jefferies.

Anna teaches her "Poetry Against the Cuts" class at the Wigan Pier Workshops held by The Orwell Prize. October 9th 2013.

Anna read at the May Day celebrations in The Good Ship in Kilburn, London NW6. Also appearing were Sean Taylor and a storming Attila the Stockbroker.


Performing as a feature poet at the Farrago Poetry Slam Zoo Awards on Friday 22nd February 2013 at the RADA Café in Malet Street, London WC1E 7H, 7pm. £6

Saturday 16th February. Reading poetry at the Islington Chinese Association Chinese New Year celebration.

Friday 15th February 2013. Anna reads poetry at the Save Friern Barnet Library occupation accompanied by Charles Shaar Murray on guitar. Now that the community has won the library back for a few years, we're back there for the cabaret on Friday.

Wednesday 13th February 2013: Anna reads poetry at the Tower Hamlets Chinese Association for their 30th anniversary and Chinese New Year celebration at the Lotus Restaurant, Millwall Dock.

Anna is a featured poet at the FARRAGO POETRY SLAM 9th November. 7.30pm RADA Café, Malet St WC1E 7H. £6 (£5 con)

Reading from Reaching for my Gnu at Café La Brioche, 238 West End Lane NW6 with Charles Shaar Murray. 7.30pm Monday 29th October. Free entry

LATEST: Performed The Steampunk Opium Wars to a packed St Ives Arts Club at the St Ives Arts Festival on Tuesday 18th September 2012. With Charles Shaar Murray, Buffalo Bill Smith, Louise Whittle, Paul Anderson, and Bob Devereux. Followed by a Madam Miaow’s Culture Lounge cabaret of poets and musicians where I read from my collection of poetry, Reaching for my Gnu.

Anna's first poetry collection, Reaching for my Gnu, is published in paperback by Aaaargh! Press in 2012.
"Brilliant and dangerous ... an unerring sense of history uniquely coupled with a perception that's as topical as tomorrow."

Wednesday 18th July (time TBC) Anna gives a talk on Chinese representation on the UK stage at the Chinese In Britain event at the Old Cinema, Westminster University, Regent St W1.

Thursday 28th June 2012
Anna and Charles Shaar Murray perform at Sash Selavie's Gender Genocide evening at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern.
Also on the same bill: Jeremy Reed and The Ginger Light!; sultry Parisian Electro-chanteuse Anne Pigalle; rock star Sara Stockbridge, historical novelist, Vivienne Westwood muse and lead singer of her band Rooster with her partner, Ex Zodiac Mindwarp stalwart, Cobalt Stargazer; six-foot-six lethal showgirl, Lucy Luskini, skin safety-first burlesque alive, and stomp its' bleeding corpse; mighty Maryland diva dominatrix Gina Davis remix Stardust for the 21st Century - and beyond!

Anna MCs and reads her poetry at the London launch of Greg Palast's Vultures' Picnic
26th June 2012
7pm The Venue, ULU, Malet St

Friday 22nd June 2012
Anna is a featured poet at the Farrago Poetry Slam
7pm RADA Café
Malet Street WC1E 7H
£6 (£5 conc)

PHOTOS of Anna May Wong Must Die! at the New Diorama Theatre, 10th & 12th November 2011, here

Videos of the St Ives Arts Festival 2011 where I debuted "Kicking A Dinosaur" and "Big Society: on a conversation at the Foundling Museum".

John Paul O'Neill invited me to be a guest poet at the Farrago Summer Slam August 2010 (above). I enjoyed it enormously as the audience is always lively and welcoming. If you are a poet this is a great event to try out your material or watch the talented array of poets strutting their wondrous stuff.

I like to try out material at Bob Devereux's Literary Festivals in St Ives, Cornwall. Again, a very warm crowd. Recommended.

Elsewhere, some pix of Suzy Wrong — Human Cannon, the solo show I took to Edinburgh.


Friday 22nd June 2012
Featured poet
Farrago Poetry Slam
Malet Street WC1E 7H
£6 (£5 conc)

Anna Chen hosts an evening of poetry, performance and 'tongue-in-cheek Chinoiserie' in The Steampunk Opium Wars, an evening of satirical events themed around the Opium Wars -part of the 'Traders Unpacked' series of events celebrating the launch of the National Maritime Museum's 'Traders: The East India Company and Asia' gallery. 6.30-10pm Thursday 16th February 2011

Anna performs at the lunchtime Norway Square sessions at the St Ives Arts Festival 10 – 25 September 2011. Anna May Wong Must Die! as a work-in-progress at the New Diorama Theatre near Euston in London as part of the week-long In The Mirror event: Thursday 10th and Saturday 12th November 2011. Plus two more radio commissions for BBC Radio 4.

Tuesday 5th April 2011
Utter 'Pointlessness' Poetry hosted by Richard Tyrone Jones

Thursday 31st March 2011
Featured poet
Farrago Poetry Slam
Malet Street WC1E 7H

Ten minute feature spot for Apples & Snakes Jawdance, Shoreditch Wednesday 19th January 2011.
35 - 47 Bethnal Green Road, London, E1 6LA
020 7613 7498

FARRAGO POETRY 16th December 2010, Rada Café, Malet St. Ten-minute feature spot.

OXFORD UNIVERSITY POETRY SOCIETY (OUPS) launch performance, 28th October 2010. Mary Ogilvy Theatre, St Anne's. More here