Born and raised in Vancouver, W. H. New attended UBC and the University of Leeds. For eighteen years, he was the editor of the distinguished critical quarterly, Canadian Literature. He is the author of a wide range of books, including several books for children, the Encyclopedia of Literature in Canada, Underwood Log (shortlisted for the Governor General's Award for Poetry), Touching Ecuador and Along a Snake Fence Riding.
His writing has received international recognition, including the Lorne Pierce Medal and the Governor General's International Award in Canadian Studies. He was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2006. His new book, YVR, is his tenth book of poetry.