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Mingled Voices International Proverse Poetry Prize Anthologies, 1-5


Pei-kai Cheng 
Maria Elena Blanco
JP Linstroth
Jack Mayer
• plus additional readings


Dr Gillian Bickley


15 July 2021 (Thursday)


6:30 - 8:00 pm


2/F Multi-purpose Area, Main Library, HKU




About the Book

image of book

MINGLED VOICES 5 contains the work of ninety poets. The one hundred and sixty or so poems were selected from those entered for the International Proverse Poetry Prize in 2020, the fifth such annual international competition administered from Hong Kong.

The International Proverse Poetry Prize was jointly founded in 2016 by Dr Gillian Bickley and Dr Verner Bickley, MBE, in association with the annual international Proverse Prize for unpublished book-length fiction, non-fiction or poetry, submitted in English, which they also founded, in 2008.

Poems could be submitted on any subject or topic, chosen by each poet, or on the subject chosen for 2020 by the Administrators, “Hunger” (interpreted in any way each writer chose). There was a free choice of interpretation, form and style.
Included in the anthology are the poems that won the first, second, and third prizes. Selection to appear in the anthology was also awarded as a prize by the judges for the Prize. This year, special mention is additionally made of three of these poets.

Poems were submitted from around the world by writers with a variety of previous writing experience.

Brief biographies of many of those whose work is represented in Mingled Voices 5 are included in the anthology as well as authors’ background notes on their work.


 About the Speakers


Shikha Bansal has worked as a book editor for several years in the publishing industry both in Hong Kong and India. She lives in Hong Kong.

Liam Blackford, a millennial, is a West Australian poet, lawyer and writer living and working in Hong Kong. He was born and grew up in suburban Perth. He has also previously lived in Shanghai. He writes poetry in Chinese as well as in English.

Pei-kai Cheng graduated from Yale with a Ph.D in History. He is a poet, essayist, calligrapher, and cultural historian, professor, former Chair of Hong Kong Intangible Cultural Heritage Committee, Founding President of China Institute for Knowledge (Our Hong Kong Foundation), and Founding Director of Chinese Civilisation Center, City University of Hong Kong. 

Helen Davis was born in South West Wales, near the Carmarthenshire coast, and has lived in Hong Kong for twenty years. She has a background in social work, law and education.

Ahmed Elbeshlawy is a scholar of comparative literature, author of three academic books, and the poetry collection, Savage Charm, published by Proverse Hong Kong in 2019. 

Daniel Hamilton was winner of the Proverse Prize 2018 for his poetry collection, “The Hummingbird Sometimes Flies Backwards”.

Sadie Kaye is a TV & radio writer-performer. She can currently be heard performing her humor column 'Sharp Pains' on RTHK’s ‘123 Show’, which is also published as a monthly column in the SCMP. ‘War of Voices’ is her first poem. 

Susan Lavender is an Anglo-Italian poet, an actress, voice acting coach, radio newsreader, yoga practitioner and solicitor. She performs in theatre and at literary events. 

Jun PAN (Janice) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Translation, Interpreting and Intercultural Studies at Hong Kong Baptist University. 

C. N. Rajalakshmi (Raji) is a Language Teacher living in Hong Kong. Her poems appear in many international anthologies and online poetry platforms.

José Manuel Sevilla (1959 Barcelona, Catalonia), business director, playwright and poet, has lived in Hong Kong since 2003. He won the Asian Cha Encountering Poetry Contest and his book “The Year of the Apparitions” was published in 2020 by Proverse Hong Kong.

Luisa Ternau was born in Trieste, North-Eastern Italy. She has lived, worked and studied in a number of countries around the world including the past ten years in Hong Kong. Luisa holds an MA in English literature from King’s College, University of London.

Bibiana Tsang has just completed her undergraduate career at HKU and will soon pursue a graduate degree at UPenn to study Chinese paintings. Some of her work is published in academic journals and local poetry anthologies. 

RECORDINGS (overseas poets)

Vinita Agrawal is an award winning author of four books of poems. She edited an anthology on climate change titled “Open Your Eyes” in 2020. She recently co-edited the Yearbook of Indian poetry in English. She is on the advisory board of the Tagore Literary Prize.

Thea Biesheuvel was born in The Netherlands but migrated, with her family, to Australia at age 15.  the change from writing in Dutch to writing in English took some time, especially when writing creatively.  She also married and had three sons while that adjustment took place.  She's been published in various magazines and anthologies as well as publishing her own writing.  She has visited Hong Kong (and Europe) and much enjoyed her interaction with other writers there.

Maria Elena Blanco (Cuba), writes predominantly in her native Spanish. Having spent her formative years in New York, she translates her poetry into English and has developed her own distinct English poetic voice. Publications: six poetry collections in Spanish, Havanity / Habanidad (bilingual anthology), literary criticism, cultural essays, and translations from French and German.

Carol Flake Chapman, Austin, Texas, USA, is a former journalist. Her poems have been published in numerous anthologies, and she has performed them in gatherings around the world. She won second-prize in the Proverse Poetry Prize competition 2020.

Neil Douglas is a community paediatric doctor working in  London’s East End. He has family connections to Hong Kong and has appeared in three Proverse “Mingled Voices” anthologies. He has also been published in the UK and North America and was longlisted for the 2020 National Poetry Competition in the UK.

Aiden Heung is a Chinese poet born in a Tibetan Autonomous Town, currently living in Shanghai. His words appeared in “The Australian Poetry Journal”, “The Missouri Review”, “Poet Lore”, “The Brooklyn Review”, “Southern Humanities Review”, among other places. 

JP Linstroth, Florida, USA. His collection, “Epochal Reckonings” was one of two winners of the Proverse Prize 2019. He will read his poem from “Mingled Voices 5”.

Jack Mayer, Vermont, USA, pediatrician, writer, wild-walker and poet, winner of the Proverse Poetry Prize (single poems), 2017. His collection, “Poems from the Wilderness” was one of two winners of the Proverse Prize 2019.

Jeddie Sopohronius is a Chinese-Indonesian writer from Jakarta, Indonesia. He is currently an MFA candidate at the University of Virginia and the Editor-in-Chief at the Meridian, University of Virginia. Other than his home country, he has spent a significant portion of his life in Australia and the United States. 

George Watt has contributed to three volumes of Mingled Voices. He has published in the areas of academic criticism and English pedagogy. Lately he has been more interested in purely creative enterprise. Sandpaper Swimming, his collection of poetry on explorers Burke and Wills and their tragic end was published in 2019.  

About the Moderator

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Dr Gillian Bickley came out to Hong Kong from the UK in 1970 to join the English Department at the University of Hong Kong. From 1974 to 1977 she held appointment at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. Returning to Hong Kong, she retired as Associate Professor in the Department of English at Hong Kong Baptist University a decade ago. With her husband, Dr Verner Bickley, MBE, she is Co-publisher of Proverse Hong Kong, publishing fiction, non-fiction and poetry with some academic, sports and other titles. Also with her husband, she is Co-founder of the two International Proverse Prizes for writing previously unpublished in English (which may be in translation): founded in 2008, the Proverse Prize for unpublished book-length fiction, non-fiction or poetry and, founded in 2016, the Proverse Poetry Prize (single poems). Her academic specialty is Victorian Studies. Her own writing has two main streams, poetry and topics within the nineteenth-century history of Hong Kong.

She recommends, to all poetry lovers and poets and all those interested in human verbal expression, the Mingled Voices series of anthologies. These contain selections from the work submitted from around the world by a wide variety of writers, for the annual International Proverse Poetry Prize (single poems).