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Fred Wah (1939-       )

Fred Wah was born in Swift Current Saskatchewan of Chinese and Scandinavian parents. They moved to the Kootenay region of British Columbia when he was four. While attending the University of British Columbia he and fellow poets George Bowering, Frank Davey, David Dawson and Jamie Reid founded TISH magazine under the tutelage of Warren Tallman (and visiting Bay Area poet Robert Duncan). Fred went on to do graduate work under Robert Creeley at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque and with Charles Olson et al at the State University of New York at Buffalo. While at Buffalo he travelled the 99 miles to Toronto to oversea the publication of his first book, Lardeau (1965), by Victor Coleman's Island Press. He began his academic career at Selkirk College in Castlegar, B.C., continued teaching in the Kootenays as head of the creative writing program at Nelson's David Thompson University Centre (which morphed into the Kootenay School Of Writing when it moved to Vancouver) and eventually became a full professor at the University of Calgary. While in the U.S. he edited SUM magazine, The Niagara Frontier Review and The Magazine of Further Studies and was a contributing editor to Frank Davey's Open Letter since its inception. His other publications include Mountain (1967), Tree (1972), Among (1972), Earth (1974), Pictograms from the interior of B.C. (1975), Loci is buried at Smoky Creek (1980), breathin' my name with a sigh (1981), Owner's manual (1981), Grasp the sparrow's tail (1982), Waiting for Saskatchewan (1985/Governor General's Award), Rooftops (1988), Music at the heart of thinking (1988), Limestone Lakes Utaniki (1989), So far (1991), Alley alley home free (1992) and Diamond grill (1996).