About the Author

Fiona Tinwei Lam

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 and contributor 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.

Books by this Author
Double Lives

Double Lives

Writing and Motherhood
also available: eBook
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Enter the Chrysanthemum

Enter the Chrysanthemum

tagged : canadian
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Intimate Distances

Intimate Distances

tagged : canadian
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After English school, we took the bus three days a week
to a Chinese church basement and a teacher
who looked like Chairman Mao with a perm.

Dreaming of TV, we sat at tables
with our textbooks open to rhymes
about cows and sheep going up mountains,
the shepherds who looked for them,
good students who arrived early to school
while mothers made meals and fathers worked.

Each lesson, the teacher conducted
our choir of fingers, new words
poked, brushed and sliced into the air--
the three drops of water,
flat lines like ladder rungs,
lines straight down with slight flicks to the left,
or tapered tails, swept in or out.

We learned how a mouth is a square
with a hollow inside; two trees make a forest;
the sun and the moon side by side
can be bright as a mind; peace
is a woman under the roof of a home;
how man stands in the centre
of both fire and sky.


these geometric days, bounded
by brushcut grass

amputated maples
lean lopsided into a sky
incised by wire grids,
nets for ephemeral

a satellite platter
funnels a particled world
into a glowing cube

we huddle before it,
avid for evidence
of life outside our
intricate caves

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Rainbow Rocket

Rainbow Rocket

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Love Me True

Love Me True

Writers Reflect on the Ins, Outs, Ups and Downs of Marriage
tagged : marriage
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