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“Into this great sweep of history, Hannah Lowe’s poetry collection, Old Friends, provides a timely close-up of some of the characters from the great Chinese migration who’d left the upheavals of a China fragmented by 19th-century wars and colonisation and fetched up in Britain.”

Anna Chen, from her introduction

Old Friends

by Hannah Lowe

Hercules Editions is pleased to announce the publication of Old Friends by Hannah Lowe

A faded memory of an east end Chinese restaurant galvanises Hannah Lowe’s exploration of Limehouse, the site of London’s first Chinatown – a place far larger in the public imagination than the few streets that once homed foreign seamen. The poems in this chapbook, by the winner of the Costa Book of the Year 2021, ask what can be found between census figures and sensationalist portrayals, between Brilliant Chang and Fu Manchu, and how do these flickers of the past speak to present perceptions of China, a place continually imagined and re-imagined in Britain’s public consciousness?


The book is introduced by poet, writer and broadcaster Anna Chen, and also includes a conversation between Hannah and poet Richard Scott about what their respective districts of Limehouse and Soho mean to them and their work.

Continuing Hannah's exploration of the Chinese diaspora in Europe, Old Friends is being published simultaneously with Rock, Bird, Butterfly, a collection on the theme of Chinese wallpaper. 

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