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Phoebe Tsang

Phoebe Tsang describes herself as a Hong-Kong born Chinese, British and Canadian poet, author, librettist and playwright. She earned a B.Sc. in Architecture from the University of London. Now living in Toronto, Tsang is a professional classical violinist.



Contents of a Mermaid’s Purse

Toronto: Tightrope Books, 2009.
PS8639 .S24 C65 2009

Publisher’s Synopsis (From its website)

These poems are an existential exploration of love and mortality via fairytales and nature. Travelling freely among the shattered confines of identity and gender, travel and environment, the dreamlike narrative unfolds in lyric language, telling of love lost and found, and mythologies that inform the journey with passages in the rhythm of fairytales.

Fiction (Short stories)

Setting Fire to Water

Saskatoon: Thistledown Press, 2022.
Forthcoming May 2022

Publisher’s Synopsis (From its website)

A young Asian woman, an artistic over-achiever turned drifter, endures a mind-bending night of reckoning as she struggles to find her way “home,” careening between flirtation and thievery, dream and memory. A reality TV star obsesses about the real stain that blemishes the set of her fake, made-for-TV life. A modern fairytale is told from the point of view of a fox having an argument with its enemy, hunger. A heart-broken accountant goes on a pilgrimage to India to get his fire back, and his attempt to attain mercy from the most holy of rivers fizzles like his former fiancée’s tepid devotion.

The seventeen stories in Setting Fire to Water unfold outside the Canadian mainstream, where longing—for home, for love, for artistic achievement, for spiritual fulfillment—is a given, and acceptance—of self, of the knowability of others, of the limits to knowing—is always in question. Using unconventional storylines and slippages in time and space, these stories explore the mystical possibilities inherent in contemporary life.


Tsang’s personal website

Publisher Tightrope Books

Publisher Thistledown Press