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Alex Wong

Poet, Non-fiction writer
King's College London

Alex Wong is a poet and literary critic with an increasing interest in the medium of essayistic prose. He has published two collections of poetry, Poems Without Irony (2016) and Shadow and Refrain (2021), both with Carcanet Press. His poems have been praised by David Morley for ‘brilliant linguistic finesse’ and by Elaine Feinstein for their ‘extraordinarily new rhetoric’, while John Clegg likens them to an improbable cross between W. S. Graham and Henry James. He values poetry as a form of communicative play that is more or less serious (as distinct from solemn) in its playfulness and does not condescend to its readers.

As a critic, he has edited and introduced the Selected Verse of Algernon Charles Swinburne and the Selected Essays of Walter Pater for Carcanet Classics. He is the author of an academic book, The Poetry of Kissing in Early Modern Europe, and his critical essays have appeared in a range of journals. He studied English literature at the University of Cambridge and for about a decade, first as a doctoral student and then as a Fellow of St John’s College, he was privileged to teach undergraduates on the same course.

In 2022 he took up a Hawthornden fellowship, during which, besides working on some new poems, he began a prose nonfiction project that he hopes will become his first and not last production in that line. He expects to be living somewhere in London by the time he begins his RLF fellowship in 2023.

Alex Wong


King's College London 2023/24
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