Through poems that celebrate the overlooked beauty in the everyday or that mourn human incursions upon the natural world, Fiona Tinwei Lam weaves polythematic threads into a shimmering tapestry that reveals the complexities of being human in an environment under threat. Inspired by Pablo Neruda's ELEMENTAL ODES, this wide-ranging and diverse collection plays with the yin and yang of everyday existence, employing lyricism, narrative, humour and an occasional dash of irreverence and fun through visual play with text and typography.
Fiona Tinwei Lam has authored two poetry books and a children's book. She edited THE BRIGHT WELL: CONTEMPORARY CANADIAN POEMS ON FACING CANCER and co-edited LOVE ME TRUE: THE INS, OUTS, UPS & DOWNS OF MARRIAGE with Jane Silcott (Caitlin Press, 2018). She has won THE NEW QUARTERLY's Nick Blatchford Occasional Verse Contest and was a finalist for the City of Vancouver Book Award. Her work appears in over thirty anthologies, including THE BEST OF THE BEST CANADIAN POETRY IN ENGLISH: THE TENTH ANNIVERSARY EDITION and FORCEFIELD: 77 WOMEN POETS OF BC. Her poetry videos have screened at festivals locally and internationally. She teaches at Simon Fraser University's Continuing Studies. ODES & LAMENTS is her third collection of poetry. fionalam.net
'Fiona Tinwei Lam's ODES & LAMENTS is a collection of poems that speak with lyrical eloquence of the beauty of a world under threat. A wry wit weaves itself through this collection, leavening the poems of lament with poems of praise, sometimes surprising the reader with exuberant forays across the page in the form of concrete poems. But even in the playful moments there is seriousness, and even in the laments there is the deep consolation of a focussed and intelligent attention. 'As the world smoulders,' writes Tinwei Lam, 'let each poem be/a fallen tree's tongue.' As the world transforms, these odes and laments in their concentrated attentiveness are love songs to the fragile, ordinary, vanishing objects and beings of this fraught time.'' --Rachel Rose
''The poems in Fiona Tinwei Lam's latest collection, ODES & LAMENTS, are both sharp and rich, brimming with insight and optimism. While the collection spans the spectrum from the lyric to the concrete, these poems always seem to cohere, always find a place, always intertwine and interconnect. ODES & LAMENTS is an excellent book! And one that I am excited to return to again and again.'' --Jordan Abel