Amy Ching-Yan Lam


October 25, 2023Baby Book is a finalist for the 2023 Governor General’s Literary Awards in Poetry!

October 24, 2023 — Upcoming Fall 2023 UK/EU readings .ೃ࿐
Weds Nov. 1: Good Press, Glasgow UK
Baby Book launch with Samra Mayanja & Sara O’Brien, 6.30pm-8.00pm

Fri Nov. 3: Eastside Projects, Birmingham UK
Reading for Sahjan Kooner and Sophie Chapman’s HONEY performance night, 6pm-8pm

Tues Nov. 7: Burley Fisher, London UK
Baby Book launch with Aurelia Guo & Samra Mayanja, 6.30pm-8.00pm

Fri Nov. 10: Hopscotch Reading Room, Berlin DE
Baby Book launch with Onyeka Igwe & Min Jia

With many thanks to Annie Koyama/Koyama Provides.

October 16, 2023Poetic Research Bureau, Los Angeles, 7pm, Baby Book launch with Steve Kado & Kirby Chen Mages

October 9, 2023 — Reading (recorded) of my poem “Autoicon” for the launch of Donald Rodney: Autoicon by Richard Birkett at Iniva, London UK

Older News

June 1, 2023 — Some press about a small but comfy house and maybe a dog, my exhibition at Richmond Art Gallery • Review in The Tyee • Radio segment on CBC The Early Edition • On Fairchild TV 熒幕八爪娛 / What’s On

May 14, 2023 — Watch the livestream of the Toronto launch for Baby Book on With special guest Mei-mei Berssenbrugge, music by New Chance, video by Marvin Luvualu António, a conversation between myself and Fan Wu, and a sensitive field by Gunnar Floral.

March 17, 2023 — A little interview in Open Book about my forthcoming poetry collection Baby Book. Pre-order or request at your favourite bookshop :)

March 16, 2023 — Two recent reviews of Looty Goes to Heaven: in The Brooklyn Rail by Daniella Sanader, and in c magazine by Cason Sharpe.

October 13, 2022Never Edit/Over Edit, a writing workshop with Artspeak, on Saturday Oct 22, 2022.

September 17, 2022 — I wrote a poem alongside Caley Feeney’s potato sculptures, published in Issue 4 of Le Sigh. Listen to the reading by Marvin Luvualu Antonio.

June 4, 2022Launch of Looty Goes to Heaven in Birmingham (UK) on Sat. June 4th, at the Digbeth Community Garden, with Eastside Projects. I will read from the story I wrote about Looty’s life and afterlife, and as well as be in conversation with historian Sarah Cheang

March 10, 2022 — A poem, Projection, in March 2022 issue of Montez Press’ Interjection Calendar

March 1, 2022 — The Life of a Craphead work King Edward VII Equestrian Statue Floating Down the Don is currently showing in the exhibition Nations by Artists at the Art Museum, University of Toronto

February 28, 2022 — I wrote an essay for the catalogue, Paper Brick, of Steve Kado’s retrospective Me! You can order it now. Steve also made this website!

February 14, 2022 — A call for participants for “Looty’s Lives,” a writing workshop. Part of my upcoming commission for Eastside Projects

November 25, 2021 — Panel “A note on process” with myself, Rinaldo Walcott, and Jesse McKee, hosted by Gallery TPW

November 14, 2021 — Watch C**kie M*nster *nterpreter, a performance with Oliver Husain, on Twitch. Presented by the 11th Seoul MediaCity Biennale

November 1, 2021 — I’m an artist-in-residence with the “Digital Diasporas” program at 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art

October 22, 2021 — Collaboration with HaeAhn Kwon in her exhibition Bathroom Classroom at Franz Kaka, Toronto

June 15, 2021 — Reading-launch of The Four Onions, hosted by Mercer Union. I will read from the chapbook and talk with Areum Kim and Teresa Tam of yolkless press.

May 20, 2021 — My first chapbook of poetry The Four Onions is available from yolkless press

December 1, 2020An interview between Life of a Craphead and Aliya Pabani, on the Toronto Biennial of Art podcast.


Baby Book

Baby Book is my first collection of poetry, out April 1, 2023, published by Brick Books.

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.


“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

“I loved reading this book. Amy Ching-Yan Lam’s writing swims in the gravest sweetness, like a brain.” — Hannah Black


Livestream of the Toronto launch for Baby Book on with special guest Mei-mei Berssenbrugge, music by New Chance, video by Marvin Luvualu António, a conversation between myself and Fan Wu, and a sensitive field by Gunnar Floral.

a small but comfy house and maybe a dog

a small but comfy house and maybe a dog at Richmond Art Gallery, BC, with HaeAhn Woo Kwon. From April 22 to June 11, 2023.

The title of this exhibition comes from a text, “Me in the Future,” that I wrote at age eleven and put in a time capsule, speculating by the age of twenty-five I’d be married, have a career, and “a small but comfy house and maybe a dog.” Starting from these childhood fantasies of domestic love and financial stability, this exhibition explores how these dreams function within the wider contexts of colonial history, property, theft, and institutional collections. With sculptures and fountains made in collaboration with HaeAhn Woo Kwon, a new lending program between the Richmond Art Gallery’s collection and the Richmond Public Library next door, Looty, and Feng shui consultation.

This exhibition will be accompanied by an artist book, co-published by Book Works in 2024.

Curated by Su-Ying Lee.

Review in The Tyee by Dorothy Woodend, “Did You Get What You Wanted from This Life?”

Radio segment on CBC The Early Edition

On Fairchild TV 熒幕八爪娛 / What’s On

Installation photos and extended labels written by me and audio description tours

Looty Goes to Heaven 洛蒂上天堂

Looty Goes to Heaven re-imagines the life of a Pekingese dog that was looted from China during the second Opium War, brought to England, gifted to Queen Victoria and renamed “Looty.” The project takes the form of an animation, a speculative fiction, and a poppy meadow in Birmingham, UK, which is the current site of Crufts, the largest dog show in the world, as well as the home of Ty-phoo tea, a brand named after the Chinese word for doctor. Looty Goes to Heaven pulls at the threads of fantasy, death, and sleep within the trades of tea, opium, and dogs.

Presented by Eastside Projects and Birmingham 2022 Festival, summer 2022.

The book is available for purchase at Art Metropole or at Burley Fisher Books in London.

Download the PDF of the book Looty Goes to Heaven

Watch the animation, made in collaboration with Emerson Maxwell

Reviews of Looty Goes to Heaven: in The Brooklyn Rail by Daniella Sanader, and in c magazine by Cason Sharpe.

C**kie M*nster *nterpreter

C**kie M*nster *nterpreter is a livestream lecture-performance-performance “about” translation, cuteness and the un-human (monsterdom). Based on a true story!

A collaboration with Oliver Husain. With Aliya Pabani. Sound by Matt Smith/Prince Nifty. Assistance from Monica Moraru.

Watch the archived livestream at

Presented by the 11th Seoul MediaCity Biennale, on Nov. 14, 2021.

Unofficial Commemorative Bench

The Unofficial Commemorative Bench is located in the Glasgow St. Parkette, in Toronto’s Chinatown. The bench marks a relationship between the parkette and the development down the street, “CampusOne,” a privately owned residence aimed towards students where a one-bedroom apartment without a kitchen costs $2,000/mo. Residents of the area opposed this development over several years but ultimately lost. As part of the building going forward, a “community benefits” agreement was made between the developer and the city, which led to the renovation of this parkette. I installed plaques, unofficially, that commemorate the residents’ opposition. You can see the tower from the bench.

Read my essay about the project, see more photos, and listen to audio descriptions in English/Mandarin/Cantonese

Presented by Gallery TPW as part of the Parkettes Project, fall 2021.

Make Believe Bathroom

When stuck at work, the bathroom can be an ideal place to hide or recover. I was asked to make an exhibition during the pandemic fall of 2020 for a university gallery, SFU Gallery; as a result, the Make-Believe Bathroom is an online bathroom modelled after the actual, physical bathroom closest to the gallery on campus. Users of Make-Believe Bathroom can talk to people in stalls next to them, check a phone, view graffiti, leave a message for others, and flush the toilet.

Visit the bathroom at

Video of talk about toilets with HaeAhn Kwon. “Washrooms for all” sticker project in collaboration with TO Toilet Codes.

Web development by Naomi Cui. Graphics by Emerson Maxwell. Audio tours by Aliya Pabani. Curated by Jenn Jackson, fall 2020.

Life of a Craphead

Life of a Craphead was the art collective of myself and Jon McCurley in performance, film, and conceptual art (2006-2020). Our work is archived at


Amy Ching-Yan Lam is an artist and writer. Her work approaches histories, personal and communal, via intuition and necessity. She was part of the collective Life of a Craphead from 2006 to 2020. Exhibitions include Entertaining Every Second at Centre Clark and the Life of a Craphead Fifty-Year Retrospective at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Publications include the speculative fiction Looty Goes to Heaven (2022) and the poetry collection Baby Book (2023). Lam has participated in residencies at Macdowell and the Delfina Foundation. She was born in Hong Kong and lives in Tkaronto/Toronto, which is Mississauga Anishinaabeg territory. / twitter @amyclam / IG @amychingyan