LAM, Fiona Timwei

Author Tags: Chinese, Poetry, Women

Fiona Tinwei Lam is a Scottish-born Chinese Canadian who grew up in Vancouver. Her poetry, fiction and non-fiction have been published in literary magazines and in over sixteen anthologies (including The Best Canadian Poetry in English, 2010 published by Tightrope Books in 2011) and has been twice featured on local transit as part of B.C.'s Poetry in Transit, as well as aired on CBC Radio. She is a regular contributor to The Tyee online news magazine (, providing commentary on writers, books and social issues.

Her first poetry collection Intimate Distances (Nightwood, 2003 $15.95) was one of four finalists for the City of Vancouver Book Award. She writes about her family history and the birth of her child. Twice short-listed for the Event literary non-fiction prize, she is a co-editor of and contributor to Double Lives: Writing and Motherhood, an anthology of creative non-fiction essays about juggling the passions to write and to parent, published by McGill-Queen's University Press.

Her second collection, Enter the Chrysanthemum (Caitlin, 2009 $16.96) contains poems about family, love and loss. According to publicity material, "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 it means to be human."

She is also the editor of The Bright Well, a slim volume of contemporary Canadian poems by poets across the country about first-hand experiences of facing cancer (Leaf Press, 2011, $16.95). It is dedicated to her father, Dr. Chung Nin Lam, and others she knows who have faced cancer.


Enter the Chrysanthemum (Caitlin, 2009)

Double Lives: Writing and Motherhood (co-editor, McGill-Queens, 2008) $22.95 978-0-7735-3377-6

Intimate Distances (Nightwood, 2003) $15.95

The Bright Well: Contemporary Canadian Poems about Facing Cancer (Leaf Press, 2011) $16.95. Editor.

The Rainbow Rocket (Oolichan 2013) $19.95 978-0-88982-282-5

[BCBW 2013] "Poetry" "Chinese" "Women"

The Rainbow Rocket by Fiona Tinwei Lam and Kristi Bridgeman (Oolichan $19.95)
Article (2013)

from BCBW 2013

"The Chinese invented rockets 800 years ago," says Poh-Poh (grandmother) to James, who visits her on Sunday afternoons to do artwork, "for fireworks and use in battle." James spends that afternoon drawing a rocket ship. Their relationship strengthens as Poh-Poh's health and cognition deteriorates. After Poh-Poh dies, James' mother reminds him about Ching Ming Day (April 5) when people go to the graves of their ancestors with offerings of tea, food, wine or incense. Ching means pure; Ming means brightness. James and his mother visit the grave, leave flowers and oranges, bow three times. Out of his knapsack James takes a new rainbow rocket ship drawing. It is burned on a plate, as an offering. Royalties for Fiona Tinwei Lam's The Rainbow Rocket, illustrated by Kristi Bridgeman, are being donated to the Alzheimer Society. 978-0-88982-282-5