Lydia Kwa was born in Singapore but moved to Toronto to begin studies in Psychology at U of Toronto in 1980. After finishing her graduate studies in Clinical Psychology at Queen's University in Kingston, she moved to Calgary, Alberta; then to Vancouver, and has lived and worked here on the traditional and the unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples since 1992.
Kwa has published two books of poetry (The Colours of Heroines, 1992; sinuous, 2013) and four novels (This Place Called Absence, 2000; The Walking Boy, 2005 and 2019; Pulse, 2010 and 2014; Oracle Bone, 2017). Her next novel A Dream Wants Waking will be published by Buckrider Books in Fall 2023.
She won the Earle Birney Poetry Prize in 2018; and her novels have been nominated for several awards, including the Lambda Literary Award for Fiction.
She has also exhibited her art work at Centre A (2014) and Massy Art Gallery (2018); and has self-published two poetry-visual art chapbooks.
Her collection of poetry, from time to new, is forthcoming from Gordon Hill press in Fall 2024.