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Derek Chung’s poems capture the East-meets-West synergy of Hong Kong’s cosmopolitan culture, while tracking the city’s myriad transformations over the past two decades.


Though his poems bear the influence of Anglophone poets such as Elizabeth Bishop and Seamus Heaney, Hong Kong is at the heart of his work. Writing through the lens of a father, restaurant-goer, dreamer, flaneur, and more, Chung captures a city in motion—and the joy, loss, and heartbreak that comes with loving Hong Kong.


Derek Chung (Chung Kwok-Keung) is an acclaimed poet, essayist, novelist, translator, and critic from Hong Kong. The author of eight poetry collections, three essay anthologies, two short story collections, and two books of poetry criticism, he is known for turning his gaze towards everyday objects and writing poems that weave personal history with broader societal themes. Chung has received Hong Kong’s Youth Literary Award and Biennial Award for Chinese Literature, among other accolades. He has also been named Artist of the Year (Literary Arts) by the Hong Kong Arts Development Awards. Notable works include The Growing House (2016), Umbrellas that Blossom on the Road (2015), A Bright House Standing in Light Rain (2018), and The Lives of Animals (2023).


May Huang is a writer and translator from Hong Kong and Taiwan. Her translations have appeared in The Common, World Literature Today, Circumference, The Massachusetts Review, Washington Square Review, and elsewhere. Writers she has translated include Derek Chung, Leung She-Kwan, Chiou Charng-ting, and Clayton Lo. Huang was selected to participate in ALTA’s 2020 Emerging Translators Mentorship Program, and received an Honorable Mention in the 2020 Gulf Coast Prize in Translation. She is an avid crossword constructor.

A Cha Chaan Teng That Does Not Exist

  • A Cha Chaan Teng That Does Not Exist
    Derek Chung
    Translated from Chinese by May Huang

    112 pages | Bilingual Chinese/English


    Paperback | ISBN 978-1-938890-28-4 (trade paper)

  • "[T]his is a collection to be recommended, and I most sincerely hope that A Cha Chaan Teng That Does Not Exist will not be the last collection to bring the beauty of Derek Chung’s poetry to an English-speaking audience." — Mary King Bradley, Cha Journal


    "This collection is for readers who are seeking a tender read teeming with life, nostalgia and remembering; it brings us to understand another cultural landscape and come back to reflect on our own.”

    — Jenna Tang, Hopscotch Translation


    "With her beautiful translation and illuminating introduction, May Huang brings us inside the world of Derek Chung, a world that is palpably personal and at the same time universal. Chung’s nuanced representation of the texture and ambiance of life in the 'Fragrant Harbor' is unique."

    — Michelle Yeh, Distinguished Professor of Chinese, UC Davis


    "From the sharp edge of a can, the subtropical air laden with mosquitos, to a mother’s day filled with housework, these poems reveal everyday epiphanies and complex emotions with wonderful precision, wit, and a deep affirmation of love and life. May Huang’s translation of Derek Chung’s poetry establishes a deeply-rooted understanding of the poetics, culture, and emotions conveyed in the works of the prominent Hong Kong poet."

    — Jennifer Wong, author of 回家 Letters Home (Nine Arches Press) 

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