Jim Wong-Chu

Jim Wong-Chu is remembered as an anthologist, poet, writer and community activist who mentored many. He was born in Hong Kong and came to Canada as a child and was raised in British Columbia by aunts and uncles.  He is the founder of the Vancouver-based Asian Canadian Writers’ Workshop and its Ricepaper Magazine.  With collaborators, Wong-Chu edited three anthologies of Chinese-Canadian literary works:  Many-Mouthed Birds: Contemporary Writing by Chinese Canadians (1991), Swallowing Clouds: An Anthology of Chinese-Canadian Poetry (1999), and, Strike the Wok: An Anthology of Contemporary Chinese Canadian Fiction (2003). Jim Wong-Chu died on July 11, 2017.


Chinatown Ghosts

Vancouver: Pulp Press, 1986.

Publisher’s Synopsis

In this collection of poems–one of the first of its kind every to be published–Jim Wong-Chu emerges from the landscape of Chinese-Canadian café society to address the struggles and contradictions of a community seeking to honour the past while trying to break free of it.  Exhilarating and terrifying, these poems are eloquent testimony to the forbearance of a culture, and, ultimately, its survival.


Chinatown Ghosts

Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2018.
FORTHCOMING fall 2018. Will be Ordered

Publisher’s Synopsis (from its website)

When it first appeared in 1986, Chinatown Ghosts was the first Chinese Canadian poetry book ever published; the poems spoke eloquently to the Chinese Canadian experience, both historical and present day. Out of print for some twenty-five years, this new edition includes Jim’s striking and evocative photographs of Vancouver’s Chinatown, revealing the soul of a place and a community that is threatened by gentrification and displacement.

The book also contains numerous tributes to Jim from some of Canada’s finest Asian-Canadian writers and editors, including Allan Cho, Glenn Deer, Catherine Hernandez, SKY Lee, Fred Wah, Terry Watada, Rita Wong, and Paul Yee.

Chinatown Ghosts is a moving and stirring tribute to a poet, a photographer, and a community.

Voices of Change book cover

Anthology (Interview)

Wong-Chu, Jim, interview by Jurgen Hesse. In Voices of Change: Immigrant Writers Speak Out, edited by Jurgen Hesse. Vancouver: Pulp Press, 1990, 184-201.


Publisher Arsenal Pulp Press (successor to Pulp Press)

Publisher TSAR Publications

Interview with Jenny Uechi in Ricepaper 15:4