Vancouver poet Fiona Tinwei Lam visited the Thursdays Collective today, November 5, 2009. Fiona began with offering a prompt: a line from her poem, “I Don’t Understand Love,” from Intimate Distances (Nightwood Editions, 2002). The line is, “I see them on the bus in the seat in front of me,” and the classroom riffed on the topic in surprising and creative ways in the fifteen minute exercise. She then read poems from both Intimate Distances and her new book, Enter the Chrysanthemum (Caitlin Press, 2009) including “Before Breakfast,” “Weed Killer” and “Camouflage,” which participants recognized from BC’s Poetry in Transit program in 2002 that exhibited poems inside busses. She shared her thoughts on the interplay between imagery, structure and sound and proposed that, “a poem is about connection or disconnection.” Throughout, she was a gracious and informative speaker.
A note from Fiona Tinwei Lam:
“Thanks again for inviting me to your Thursdays class! What wonderful,
insightful, intelligent and creative participants. It was such a
pleasure to be there. It was the best audience I’ve ever had
too–really attentive and very aware of the words.”