By Tara Armstrong
Fiona Tinwei Lam is the author of two books of poetry, Intimate Distances and Enter the Chrysanthemum. Her poetry, fiction and non-fiction have been included in over twenty anthologies. She is a co-editor of and contributor to the literary non-fiction anthology, Double Lives: Writing and Motherhood published by McGill-Queens University Press in 2008. She edited The Bright Well, a collection of contemporary Canadian poetry about facing cancer, published by Leaf Press in 2011. Oolichan Books will be publishing The Rainbow Rocket, her first book for children in 2013.
Stepping into Higher Grounds Coffee on a drizzly Thursday morning, Fiona Tinwei Lam scans the room. I wave. She approaches. We shake hands. Then, we argue over who will pay for the tea. “I’ll pay. You’re a student,” insists Fiona. “It’s your time. Please,” I say. I win and we settle into the interview over two cups of herbal tea.
Did you always write, even as a child?
I started writing poetry regularly in grade seven. I was encouraged by my teacher to keep going, so I continued writing poetry through high school. But then when I reached university I thought it was time to be practical. So I did a degree in political science. Then I did two law degrees. And it wasn’t until after all of that, that I came back to writing, and completed an MFA in Creative Writing at UBC. [Read more…]