Cho Wan Yau

Hong Kong

I was born in Hong Kong and the family emigrated to London when I was eight. My sister and I were cute oddities at primary school. It was the late 60's so there weren't that many Chinese kids. We were bussed off to a language lab, headphones put on us and told to repeat what we heard. That is how we learned English.

Words have been my first love and will be my last: English, Chinese, French... As a child I locked myself into the toilet and read to my heart's content. My family knew not to disturb me.

No surprise then that I read English Literature at university. My parents didn't bother to learn English, they always thought they would make a quick buck and go home. Good thing about this was I had a lot of freedom to choose my own path.

Like many I drifted into teacher training. It is the only postgraduate course that is paid for. It is such a tough stressful job that I doubt anybody would train otherwise and we'd end up with an illiterate and ignorant future generation..

I have taught English and English Literature at Maryknoll Fathers' School in Hong Kong and at various primary schools in London and Cambridgeshire.

I have a gorgeous grown up daughter and a very supportive family, especially my loving and generous sister.

The last few years have been particularly tough but I won't bore you with the details. Pain is good; provides plenty of material to write about. My poetry is borne out of this deep hurt. Cheerful people with charmed lives do not make good poets.

I hope you'll like my poetry and leave feedback. If any of it resonates and you feel less alone then it was worth banging away at the keyboard in the early hours instead of counting sheep.

If you like to ask me anything or share your work I'd be delighted.

  • Work
    • Teacher
  • Education
    • BA. (Hons) English, PGCE, MA. Education