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Poetry General

Baby Book

by (author) Amy Ching-Yan Lam

Brick Books
Initial publish date
Apr 2023
General, Women Authors, Canadian
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2023
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Apr 2023
    List Price

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"God is personal," the astrologer said. Terrifying and also personal, like a baby.

Direct and humorous, Baby Book stacks story upon story to explore how beliefs are first formed. From a family vacation on a discount bus tour to a cosmogony based on cheese, these poems accumulate around principles of contingency and revelation. Amy Ching-Yan Lam describes the vivid tactility of growth and death — how everything is constantly, painfully remade — offering a vision against the stuck narratives of property and inheritance. Power is located in the senses, in wind: multiple and restless.

About the author

Amy Ching-Yan Lam is an artist and writer. She is the author of Looty Goes to Heaven (2022) and her poems have been published by Book Works, Montez Press, and yolkless press. Baby Book is her first collection of poetry. Lam's exhibitions, performances, and public artworks, both solo and as part of the collective Life of a Craphead, have been presented at Seoul MediaCity Biennale, Eastside Projects, and Art Gallery of Ontario, amongst others, and she has participated in residencies at Macdowell and Delfina Foundation. She lives in Toronto, which is Mississauga Anishinaabeg treaty territory, as well as the land of the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat. Lam was born in Hong Kong.

Amy Ching-Yan Lam's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"These poems draw the reader in with the intimacy of the personal and the individual, only to break your heart with the collective world-making violences of colonial extraction, displacement, and capitalism's accumulations. These are poems and a poetics of ethics." — Rinaldo Walcott, author of On Property

"Baby Book is a gorgeous book of poems that refract global histories through the prisms of social, familial, and daily life. Lam's poems are full of pleasure and surprise." — Aurelia Guo, author of World of Interiors

"What happens when a sense memory steals us away? Like a hole cut into a museum wall that pulls smells from the cafe downstairs into the gallery, Amy Ching-Yan Lam's poems are a seduction of non-destination. What becomes of a sense memory who is also an ancestor? An ancestor never met, an ancestor-to-become, an ancestor to spend more time with. Baby Book's collective surrogacy undoes lineage for all our sakes. For the sake of death, for the sake of life, for heaven's sake, praise this beautiful Baby Book." — Park McArthur, artist

"I loved reading this book. Amy Ching-Yan Lam's writing swims in the gravest sweetness, like a brain." — Hannah Black, author of Tuesday or September or the End