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Louise Bak

Louise Bak was born in Kingtson, Ontario. Since 1991, she has lived in Toronto, where she pursued graduate studies on the “transperformative aspects of Cantonese opera in Canada” at the University of Toronto. She has worked as an editor, radio host, and performance artist. An online version of her second book of poetry, Gingko Kitchen, is available from the Coach House Books. Bak also co-wrote a feature film called The Ache. She hosted a salon series called The Box: A Mixed Cultural Salon.


Gingko Kitchen

Illustrated by Eli Langer, Justin Cheung, Ho Tam.
[Toronto]: Coach House Books, 1997.
PS8553 .A3696 G56 1997

Publisher’s Synopsis (From its website)

Ranging widely from extreme intensity to breathy ethereality, these poems challenge preconceptions about race, culture, sexuality and language. Bak’s liberal spicing of her sometimes startling uses of English argot put her poetry at the forefront of feminist discourse in a series of texts that are at once confrontational and conciliatory.

Poetry (Chapbook)


Also known as: Emeighty.

Toronto: Letters Bookshop, 1995.

Limited edition of 63 numbered copies.



Montreal: DC Books, 2011.
PS8553 .A3696 S89 2011

Publisher’s Synopsis

Louise Bak’s third collection of poetry, Syzygy, continues to reinvent the English language as a sharp and challenging postmodern argot that mixes a lexicon ranging from Cantonese and Mandarin to Latin, Korean, punk, and Hello Kitty. Bak’s poems explore a concentrated, hyper-visual manner of conveying sexual and traumatic experience in a language of extreme metaphor. Syzygy, a term that means either conjunction or opposition, especially in reference to the moon and the sun, characterizes Bak’s explorations in language as simultaneously extreme in precision and intense in mediated opacity.



Toronto: Coach House Books, 2001.
PS8553 .A3696 T85 2001

Publisher’s Synopsis (From its fall 2003 catalogue)

Bak’s second book, Tulpa (in Buddhist mysticism, a magical entity created by intensely concentrated thought), continues her challenging exploration of a range of themes and uses of the global lexicon. Combining a visual artist’s flair for colour with a performance artist’s transgressiveness, Bak is a unique voice.


Publisher Coach House Books

Publisher DC Books