Fred Wah was born in Swift Current, Saskatchewan, in 1939, and he grew up in the West Kootenay region of British Columbia.
Studying at UBC in the early 1960s, he was one of the founding editors of the poetry newsletter TISH.
After graduate work with Robert Creeley at the University of New Mexico and with Charles Olson at SUNY, Buffalo, he returned to the Kootenays in the late 1960s, founding the writing program at DTUC before moving on to teach at the University of Calgary. A pioneer of online publishing, he 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 BC Book Prize, Waiting For Saskatchewan received the Governor-General’s Award and So Far was awarded the Stephanson Award for Poetry. Diamond Grill, a biofiction 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.
To learn more about his work, visit The Fred Wah Digital Archive
Short-listed 2019 BC Book Prize: Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize
Winner 2010 BC Book Prize: Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize
Finalist 2021 The BC and Yukon Book Prizes' Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize
Commended 2015 Best 75 Books (CBC Books)
Short-listed 2009 ReLit Award for Poetry