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Poetry Lgbt


by (author) Belinda Betker

Shadowpaw Press Reprise
Initial publish date
Sep 2022
LGBT, Love
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2019
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2022
    List Price

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Suppose you finally say, I'm my own person.
Suppose you say, No one else is in charge of me.
Suppose you tell yourself, I'm nobody's bad girl.
Suppose you're that kind of woman. Just suppose.


In this new revised, expanded edition of her acclaimed debut poetry collection, Phases, Belinda Betker deftly captures what it is like for those who don't fit within rigid notions of what it means to be a "boy" or a "girl." She takes readers on a luminous journey of a young girl's coming-of-age, her burgeoning sexuality, an unhappy marriage, the triumphant release of coming out, and the liberating power of drag.


In these poems, readers will find a celestial and transcendent re-discovering of the self; an unravelling of society's expectations of gender, love, and desire, and how these falsehoods threaten to eclipse our truth. Phases is mercurial and unpredictable, a celebration of the non-conformist in each of us.

About the author

Belinda Betker is a prairie-born poet living in Saskatoon. Her work is published in several anthologies, including Fast Forward: New Saskatchewan Poets, and Spring (Vols. 7, 8, & 9); as well as in various literary journals and chapbooks. She is a founding and long-time board member of the Saskatoon Writers Collective; and a founding/core member of two Saskatoon writing groups – Sisters’ Ink, and Obsessors.

Belinda Betker's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"Belinda Betker's first collection of poetry, Phases, is a captivating tribute to the lunar and life cycles. Fierce and richly erotic, with acuity and candour her poems shine a bright light onto an intimate world and burst with power and play. Both lovingly tender and don't-mess-with-me tough, Betker's is an empowering voice." - Sandra Ridley, Griffin Prize finalist for Silvija


"'Walk loose,' writes Belinda Betker in this riveting collection, 'take up space like you own it.' And oh, how she does. These bold, tender, cocky, shy, hilarious, heart-breaking poems enter a room like they own the house. Phases is a must-read and so you must. This is a beautifully nuanced voice that dares, teases, and challenges all notions of gender. I can think of few poets who do so with such generosity." - Katherine Lawrence, award-winning poet and author


"Belinda Betker's debut poetry collection, Phases, is a significant contribution to LGBTQ2S+ literature. The collection explores the trials of a lifelong journey toward knowing-toward identity-and the wayfinding power of embracing the body's sensual nature . . . The poems . . . lean intimately into moments of great vulnerability and great strength. As a reader, I am grateful for the discrete and sustained attention she has brought to each poem, breathing through the pain toward a 'place of knowing." - Clea Roberts, The Humber Literary Review


"In Phases, Betker traces the transition of sexual identity through marriage, 'coming out,' and drag persona. Gritty, funny, eloquent and most definitely relevant." - Judges, Creative Saskatchewan Publishing Award, 2020 Saskatchewan Book Awards (Finalist)


"An honest look at the fluidity of the self, Phases pushes back against normative expectations of gender and sexuality in a series of poems that's both deft and defiant. Belinda Betker, also known as Dyke van Dick, is an uncompromising cultural observer, the perfect guide to warn readers against past mistakes and renew their faith in the future. The poems in Phases are bona-fide manifestos, and a must read for those interested in how to live well in the 21st century." - Judges, SK Arts Poetry Award Honouring Anne Szumigalski, 2020 Saskatchewan Book Awards (Finalist)


"These poems are at once tender and shy, cocksure and sassy, like the many faces that appear here in all their phases: childhood, young womanhood, motherhood-not to mention middle-age drag kinghood! In these pages, to be a woman manfully is just another way to be, and beauty is in the eye of the beheld." - Elizabeth Philips, award-winning author of Torch River and The Afterlife of Birds

Other titles by Belinda Betker