Vancouver's Poet Laureate

The Poet Laureate, ‘the people’s poet,’ has an important role in raising poetry’s visibility through the creation of a unique literary project that engages the city’s diverse communities, and by presenting or performing in City-led or partnered events and community public poetry functions.

The Poet Laureate was established by City Council in December 2006, in partnership with the Vancouver Public Library and the Vancouver Writers Fest, and is funded through a generous endowment from Dr. Yosef Wosk, OBC.

What's happening2022-2024 Poet Laureate

Fiona Tinwei Lam

Photo of Fiona Tinwei Lam


Fiona Tinwei Lam has authored three poetry collections and a children's book, and produced several award-winning poetry videos that have screened at festivals all over the world. Besides editing the anthology, The Bright Well: Contemporary Canadian Poems on Facing Cancer, she has co-edited two nonfiction anthologies.

Shortlisted for the City of Vancouver Book Award and thrice selected for BC’s Poetry in Transit, her work appears in over 40 anthologies, including the Best Canadian Poetry series. A former lawyer, she has an MFA in creative writing from UBC.  She currently teaches at SFU's Continuing Studies.

Poet Laureate project

During these fraught and challenging times, poetry can offer us an opportunity to forge profound and regenerative connections of insight and understanding, while acknowledging our varied origins and histories. The common human experiences of reflection, wonder, love, grief, or celebration are distilled in the world's best poems. 

Fiona Tinwei Lam hopes to build upon the legacy of her predecessors and encourage people from all ages, backgrounds, and walks of life to engage in the reading and writing of poetry. 

Over the next two years, her legacy project will involve community outreach to encourage the generation of new poems and poetry videos related to the myriad significant historical, cultural, and ecological sites on the unceded traditional territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples, now known as Vancouver. The first stage of her project will commence with a poetry contest for youth and adults in 2022. The second stage of her project will then follow with a poetry video and poetry film contest based on the award-winning poems or selected published poems.

Schools in the Vancouver school district may book a one-hour workshop with the Vancouver Poet Laureate through the Poet in Class program with Poetry in Voice, or starting in 2022 with the Vancouver Writers Fest's Writers in the Classroom program.  

Learn more about the city poems contest

For other enquiries, email

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Miko Hoffman
Cultural Planner

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