Wong May was born in the war capital, Chongqing in 1944 China. She was brought up in Singapore by her mother, a classical Chinese poet. She studied English Literature at the University of Singapore with the poet D.J. Enright; she was at the Iowa Writers Workshop 1966-68. Soon after, she left the USA for Europe. She lives in Dublin, where she paints under the name Ittrium Coey. She has exhibited in Dublin & Grenoble.