Fred Wah was born in Swift Current, Saskatchewan, in 1939 and grew up in the West Kootenay region of British Columbia. After graduate work with Robert Creeley and Charles Olson, he returned to the Kootenays in the late 1960s, founding the writing program at David Thompson University Centre (DTUC). A pioneer of online publishing, Wah has mentored a generation of some of the most exciting new voices in poetry today.
Of his seventeen books of poetry, is a door received the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize, Waiting for Saskatchewan received the Governor General’s Award, and So Far was awarded the Stephanson Award for Poetry. Diamond Grill, a bio-fiction about hybridity and growing up in a small-town Chinese-Canadian café, won the Howard O’Hagan Award for Short Fiction, and his collection of critical writing, Faking It: Poetics and Hybridity, received the Gabrielle Roy Prize. Wah was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2012. He served as Canada’s Parliamentary Poet Laureate from 2011 to 2013.
Jeff Derksen is a founding member of Vancouver’s writer-run centre, the Kootenay School of Writing. His poetry and critical writing on art, urbanism, and text have been published in Europe and North America.
"Wah’s has always been a poetic simultaneously engaged with breath and quick thought, language and deep meditation on being, identity and theory, and Music at the Heart of Thinking provides an ongoing example of just how powerful a master can be."
“Like [Jack] Spicer before him, Wah proves that in the right (write) mouth the poem itself might be the best critical tool we have.”—ARC Poetry Magazine
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