The late Jill Chan was a poet, fiction writer, editor, and scientist who left a generous bequest to the New Zealand Poetry Society. Her kindness will ensure that the NZPS can continue to support and promote poetry and poets in New Zealand.
Jill Chan was born in Manila, Philippines, in 1973. In 1994, at the age of 21, she migrated to New Zealand. She started writing poetry a year later. Her work has been published in a number of both New Zealand and international literary magazines. Just a few of these many journals include JAAM, Poetry New Zealand, Brief, and Broadsheet.
At the time of her passing, Jill was the editor of Subtle Fiction. Subtle Fiction published pieces that were surprising, uncompromising, and outside of the box. Jill was also the editor of Poetry Sz: demystifying mental illness, an online literary magazine featuring writers who have experienced mental illness.
Jill Chan had a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry. In an interview by Ivy Alvarez, Jill makes connections between her poetry and her background in science. When asked if Jill thinks that science is poetic, she states that “Yes, I think science is poetic. Science has a beauty as much as poetry. It is creative, and dynamic. It is meaningful”.
In the same interview, Jill also writes that “Poetry satisfies me more because I experiment with words now. I enjoy the surprise of working an idea, making things fall into place, learning through trial and error, connecting disparate things into something meaningful.”