'Enter the Chrysanthemum' is a luminous collection of poems about family, love and loss. Employing precise imagery and concise language, Lam plumbs and mines ordinary events and experiences to find a central core of poetic insight and sometimes harrowing truth. Whether written from the vantage point of a young child observing her parents, a single parent struggling to raise a child, or a daughter watching a parent's decline and death, these poems reconnect us to what itmeans to be human. 'Enter the Chrysanthemum' is Lam's second book of poetry.
"The poems follow a sonata-like structure, with four interlocking "movements", each building and spiralling upon the last. The motif of the chrysanthemum serves as the frame for the collection, shifting from a symbol of loss and absence to one of grace. Besides being a chronicle of a journey, I see this book as a tribute to my parents, and to parents and families in general, with all their flaws, passions, longings and struggles."
Fiona Tinwei Lam is a Scottish-born, Vancouver-based writer whose work has appeared in literary magazines across the country, as well as in the 'Globe & Mail', and anthologies in Canada, the US and Hong Kong. Her work has also been featured as part of B.C.'s Poetry in Transit program. Her book of poetry, 'Intimate Distances' (Nightwood 2002), was a finalist for the City of Vancouver Book Award. Twice short-listed for the 'Event' literary non-fiction contest, she is a co-editor of andcontributor to the anthology of personal essays, 'Double Lives: Writing and Motherhood' (McGill-Queens University Press, 2008). Her work will also be appearing in 'Best Canadian Poetry 2010' (Tightrope Books, 2010), edited by Lorna Crozier. Her most recent collection of poetry, 'Enter the Chrysanthemum' (Caitlin, 2009), depicts the journey into single parenthood, exploring themes of family, love and loss. She is a former lawyer.