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10 Questions for 10th Anniversary of the Festival - Fiona Tinwei Lam

posted Aug 16, 2013, 9:28 AM by Natasha Boskic   [ updated Aug 16, 2013, 9:29 AM ]

Fiona Tinwei Lam

P. C.: When and where are you happiest?

Fiona Tinwei Lam: Reading aloud to my son at bedtime or having a conversation with him while we walk home after school.

Birthing the first and the final drafts of a really interesting poem or essay.

Waking after getting a really good night's sleep (rare).

Moments of real connection with another human being.


P. C.: What is a poem you might carry in your pocket?

FTL: Czeslaw Milosz's "On Angels" or maybe Tomas Transtromer's "Half-Finished Heaven"


P. C.: What is your favourite memory from childhood?

FTL: The two poems I wrote in elementary school.


P. C.: What is your most unappealing habit?

FTL: Too many to mention.


P. C.: What do you eat on a bad day?

FTL: Comfort foods:   basmati rice with sag paneer or dal, homemade soup, warm fruit-based desserts, dark chocolate.


P. C.: What do you always carry with you?

FTL: Keys and bus tickets or change for the bus.


P. C.: Do you play a musical instrument? Have you ever?

FTL: Classical piano (Brahms is a favourite). Just started to learn the cello this year. I can play a few chords on the guitar or ukelele.


P. C.: What is one thing you will not eat?

FTL: More than one thing:  beche de mer, foie gras, escargot, bugs (although I have eaten ground-up crickets)


P. C.: If you were not a writer what would you be doing instead?

FTL: A blues singer or some kind of musician, if I had any talent!


P. C.: What keeps you awake at night?

FTL: The discouraging and deteriorating state of the world. Potential or actual harm or danger to those I love. My relative powerlessness to make a difference.


P. C.: What are you currently working on?

FTL: A book of poetry and a book of nonfiction about the aforementioned.