Gwen Benaway is a trans woman who identifies as being of Anishnaabe and Métis descent. She is the author of Ceremonies for the Dead, Passage, and Holy Wild, winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry, as well as her most recent poetry collection day/break.

Gwen’s poetry navigates the complexities of being a trans poet in an often transphobic society. She says “I think description can be a violence that many of us have to live inside … What possibilities are constrained by the language wrapped around our bodies and desires?”

Poet Billy-Ray Belcourt says “From Benaway’s day/break (her best book yet), we might learn how to democratize love’s liberatory possibilities. How lucky are we to be reading in the time of Gwen Benaway!”

Gwen is also an activist and a PhD candidate in the Women & Gender Studies Institute at the University of Toronto.

She lives in Toronto.

Author Patron: Alison Clark

Book and Website:

Appearing in: 11. Poetry for Where We Find Ourselves