day/break, poet Gwen Benaway's fourth collection of work, explores the everyday poetics of the trans feminine body. Through intimate experiences and conceptualizations of trans life, day/break asks what it means to be a trans woman, both within the text and out in the physical world. Shifting between theory and poetry, Benaway questions how gender, sexuality, and love intersect with the violence and transmisogyny of the nation state and established literary institutions. In beautiful lyric verse, day/break reveals the often-unseen other worlds of trans life, where body, self, and sex are transformed, becoming more than fixed binary locations.
About the author
Gwen Benaway is a trans girl of Anishinaabe and Métis descent. She has published three collections of poetry—Ceremonies for the Dead, Passage, and Holy Wild, winner of the Governor General's Literary Award for Poetry. It was also a finalist for the Trillium Book Award for Poetry, the Lambda Literary Award for Transgender Poetry, and the Publishing Triangle Award for Trans and Gender-Variant Literature, and was longlisted for the Pat Lowther Memorial Award. She is the editor of an anthology of fantasy short stories titled Maiden Mother and Crone: Fantastical Trans Femmes. She has been a finalist for the Dayne Ogilvie Prize for LGBTQ Writers from the Writers' Trust of Canada, and her personal essay, "A Body Like A Home," was the Gold Prize Winner for the National Magazine Awards in Personal Journalism. She is also currently editing a book of creative nonfiction, trans girl in love. day/break is her fourth book of poetry. She lives in Toronto, Ontario, and is a Ph.D. student at the University of Toronto in the Women and Gender Studies Institute.
Praise for Holy Wild:
"This book is many things, and we are grateful." —Katherena Vermette, author of the award-winning novel The Break
"In Holy Wild, Benaway sounds forth a chorus of pronouncements that look something like I am "x," where "x" is at once unavailable to some and ever-proliferating: "this is what makes us holy / even if we are the only ones / who know it." It is in this refusal of singularity that Benaway conjures trans life in a place that is both prior to and in excess of the violence that mires it." —Billy-Ray Belcourt, Griffin Prize winning author of This Wound is a World
"Unapologetically, Benaway dares to imagine and celebrate Indigenous transness as radical softness, as sexually active resistance that doesn't entail oppression, but an urgent desire to be here, right now, despite a reality that refuses to acknowledge or even allow its existence in the first place." —Anomaly