Dr. Gillian Bickley is an author, writer, editor, indexer, occasional book reviewer/ feature writer, and researcher, with a specialty in Biography, Family History, Nineteenth Century Hong Kong (particularly public education, cultural and social colonial history) and other Nineteenth Century literary and social history topics.
With her husband, Verner Bickley, she is both co-director of Proverse Hong Kong, and co-founder of the International Proverse Prize for unpublished book-length non-fiction, fiction or poetry submitted in English and of the annual International Proverse Poetry Prize (single poems), also to be submitted in English (may be translations).
She was Senior Lecturer / Associate Professor in the Department of English Language and Literature, Hong Kong Baptist University (earlier, ‘College’) for twenty-two years. She was Assistant Lecturer, English Division, Faculty of Arts, University of Lagos, Nigeria, 1968-1970; Lecturer, Department of English Language and Literature, the University of Hong Kong, 1970-1974; Lecturer, Department of English Language and Literature, University of Auckland, New Zealand, 1974-1977. For many years, she was an Honorary Research Fellow of the Centre of Asian Studies (CAS), now renamed Centre for Humanities and Social Science (incorporating the Centre for Asian Studies), University of Hong Kong. She was until recently the senior Vice-President and Council Member, Royal Asiatic Society (Hong Kong Branch).
Gillian Bickley (née Workman) was born and educated in the United Kingdom and has lived mostly in Hong Kong since 1970.
Her books include six collections of poetry and one selected collected works:
- Grandfather’s Robin (2020)
- Over the Years: Selected Collected Poems 1972-2015 (2017)
- Perceptions (2012)
- China Suite and other Poems (2009)
- Sightings: a collection of poetry with an essay, “Communicating poems” and illustrative photographs (2007)
- Moving House and other Poems From Hong Kong (2005)
- For the Record and other Poems of Hong Kong (2003)
Two collections of poetry have appeared bilingually:
- Avvistamenti, pensieri e sentimenti Sightings, Thoughts and Feelings (August 2020) Bilingual: English / Italian
- Poems / Poeme (2016) Bilingual: English / Romanian.
Two of her poetry collections have been translated into Chinese and published as follows:
- For the Record, translated by Dr Simon Sui-cheong Chau and published as an e-book (2010).
- Moving House (with additional material), Head of the Translation Team and General Editor, Mr Tony Yip Ming Tak (2008).
One collection has been translated into Italian by Luisa Ternau and published as follows:
- Avvistamenti, pensieri e sentimenti (July 2020)
She is the author of:
- The Golden Needle: The Biography of Frederick Stewart (1836-1889) (1997)
- The Stewarts of Bourtreebush (2003)
Selections from The Golden Needle: The Biography of Frederick Stewart (1836-1889), translated by Hong-Lok Kwok, have been published in Chinese as an e-book (2010).
The full text of The Golden Needle: The Biography of Frederick Stewart (1836-1889), translated by Rudolph M., has been published in Chinese in paperback and as an e-book (2022)
She is the editor of:
- Hong Kong Invaded! A ’97 Nightmare (University of Hong Kong Press, 2001)
- The Development of Education in Hong Kong, 1841-1897 (2002)
- A Magistrate’s Court in Nineteenth Century Hong Kong: Court in Time 1st edition (2005)
- The Complete Court Cases of Magistrate Frederick Stewart (2008)
- A Magistrate’s Court in Nineteenth Century Hong Kong: Court in Time 2nd edition. (2009)
- Through American Eyes: The Journals (18 May 1859-1 September 1860) of George Washington (Farley) Heard (1837-1875)(2017)
- Journeys with a Mission: Travel Journals of The Right Revd George Smith (1815-1871), first Bishop of Victoria, Hong Kong (1849-1865) (2018)
She is co-editor of the following titles:
with the author Olga Walló, of the first English language translation from the original Czech of Tightrope! A Bohemian Tale (Proverse Hong Kong, November 2010).
with Richard Collingwood-Selby, of In Time of War (Proverse Hong Kong, 2013). This is based on the papers, memorabilia, photographs and sketches of Lt. Cmdr. Henry C.C. Collingwood-Selby, RN (1898-1992).
Gillian Bickley’s poetry has been anthologised in Hong Kong, the Philippines and the United Kingdom, and in the Trinity Guildhall online anthology published in the United Kingdom. Selected translations have appeared in several languages, including the Arabic translations of Sayed Gouda and the Czech translations of Olga Walló. As arranged by Dr. Hasan Erkek, some poems have also appeared in Turkish translation.
In 2014, she was awarded the “Grand Prix Orient-Occident Des Arts” at the 18th International Festival, “Curtea de Argeș Poetry Nights”, held in Romania.
Gillian’s books can be ordered from the Proverse’s distributor: the Chinese University Press.