Fiona Tinwei Lam is the author of Intimate Distances (finalist for the City of Vancouver Book Prize), Enter the Chrysanthemum, and a new poetry collection, Odes & Laments (Caitlin Press, fall 2019).  She also authored the illustrated children’s book, The Rainbow Rocket. Her poetry, fiction and non-fiction have been published in over thirty anthologies (Canada, Hong Kong, and the US), including The Best of the Best Canadian Poetry in English (Tenth Anniversary Edition).  Her poems have been featured  twice on local transit as part of B.C.’s Poetry in Transit.  She is a co-editor of and contributor to the creative nonfiction anthology, Double Lives: Writing and Motherhood published by McGill-Queen’s University Press, and also the editor of The Bright Well, a collection of contemporary Canadian poetry about facing cancer.   She and Jane Silcott have co-edited the creative nonfiction and poetry anthology, Love Me True: Writers Reflect on the Ins, Outs, Ups & Downs of Marriage. Her poetry videos have been screened at festivals locally and internationally. She teaches at Simon Fraser University (Continuing Studies).

Born in Scotland, she emigrated to Canada at a young age with her family.  She has a B.A. in political science (UBC),  an LL.B. (Queen’s University) and an LL.M. (University of Toronto).  She articled and worked as an associate in a Vancouver law firm,  and later as a staff lawyer at the Law Society of British Columbia.  She also has an M.F.A. in creative writing (UBC). Over the years, she has facilitated writing workshops for people of diverse ages, backgrounds and circumstances (including adult students at UBC Continuing Studies and Langara Continuing Studies, low income adults and single parents in various community settings, and elementary and high school students).


She is a member of The Writers Union of Canada, The League of Canadian Poets, The Creative Nonfiction CollectivePEN Canada, and the Federation of B.C. Writers.  Information about the author is also available on the University of Toronto Library’s Canadian Poetry Online and Ryerson University’s Asian Heritage in Canada site.

Literary Awards

The New Quarterly’s Nick Blatchford Occasional Verse Contest 2017, winner (also nominated by TNQ for a Pushcart prize);  Event Literary Magazine Non-Fiction Contest 2013, shortlist Co-Kisser Poetry Film Festival 2013, Audience Choice – Best in Category Prize (“Relationships” category) for “Aquarium”;  Geist Magazine’s Jackpine Sonnet Contest 2010, 2nd PrizeEvent Literary Magazine Non-Fiction Contest 2006, Shortlist; City of Vancouver Book Awards 2003, finalist;  Event Literary Magazine Non-Fiction Contest 2002, Shortlist;  Vancouver Courier Fiction Contest 2002, 4th prize;  Vancouver Courier Fiction Contest 2001, 2nd prize;  League of Canadian Poets’ National Poetry Contest, 1999-2000, Runner-Up (two poems).

Literary Judge/Juries

The author has participated as a juror with the Canada Council for the Arts in the past, and as a Team Regional Judge for the Vancouver region team competition of Poetry in Voice 2018-19; The BC Federation of Writers’ Literary Writes Poetry Contest 2018; The Asian Canadian Writers’ Workshop Emerging Writers’ Prize 2017; The Malahat Review‘s Open Season Award in 2016 (nonfiction); the Bronwen Wallace Award 2015 (poetry); Pandora Collective’s Poetry Contest (Hibernating with Words) 2012; the  Downtown Eastside Writers’ Jamboree Writing Contest 2011; the ARM/Demeter Press Poetry contest on “Mothers and Daughters” in 2008; and the Vancouver International Writers’ Festival Poetry and Short Fiction Contest 2005.